It’s also International Dance Day. You know I couldn’t pass on an opportunity to talk about dance. 🙂 I don’t have a bunch of pictures, but I’m posting what I have.
Dance has brought so much joy to my life. I personally think everyone can dance. It may not technical. Maybe more social. But everyone can enjoy moving around to their favorite song.
According to my mom, I’ve always been bouncing around, with or without music playing.
First year of classes – ’91-92. From the scrapbook my Mom made for my Grandma.)
I started taking lessons at 5 years old. Ballet was my favorite. Loathed tap. But now, all the years later, half of the classes I teach now are tap. But I always include ballet training in all of my lessons. In college, I took modern. That was an experience (good and meh), but even its variations, I appreciate the concepts. Jazz is my absolute favorite now. You can do so much in jazz. Lots of fun. But I don’t stop there. Being able to watch others do their thing in African, Latin, hip-hop, and other cultural dance forms is amazing. Oh! If you watch figure and ice skating, gymnastics, you’ll see various dance styles as well.
Even when I stopped taking lessons during middle and high school because I wasn’t feeling it and I injured my knee, dance was never far from my mind. I’d still learn combinations I saw on TV, get into dance history, and start choreographing in my room. That’s when I realized I wanted to create, in addition to performing. Learning about Jack Cole, Alvin Ailey, and Bob Fosse. Admiring the performance skills of Debbie Allen, Michael and Janet, and everyone in between. Including those fun musical numbers in movies and commercials.
But I got my act together, jumped back into ballet my junior year in high school (worked my butt off that year to get back into ballet shape and earn my pointe shoes), and never left.
See the creases? lol.
I didn’t think it’d lead to a career. Since I returned to dance, I’ve been blessed to make so many connections, being a part of awesome productions. Using the skills I had to parlay in musical theatre and performing on great stages (like the Kennedy Center). Most importantly, I’ve built long-lasting friendships and seeing the love and joy on my students’ faces when they get that Eureka moment.
During college, I realized that I could combine my love of dance and teaching. That was a life-saver since I lost my drive to perform on a consistent basis. (Never say never, but my passion is teaching and choreography). God is very good and keeps allowing me to dance, teach, and see all the benefits of what I do for living.
First time performing at The Kennedy Center. 2011, maybe?
My friend Pep and I during our production of Chicago The Musical. (2008)
So, that’s that. Still dancing, still moving, still creating. It’s been so much fun. Always great to receive inspiration. If I ever see a dance video on social media, I’m gonna watch. (Check out Misty Copeland, Brian Friedman, Mia Michaels, and others. So good!)
The support of my family and friends have been priceless. Even during the difficult times in life, dance has been a constant. I don’t think I’ll ever stop. 🙂
Once a dancer, always a dancer.