My Dance Teacher

July 15, 2008 at 11:04 pm (Everything Else) (, )

After I finished writing my earlier post today about “So You Think You Can Dance” I started thinking about why I watch the show. I watch the show because I love dance. I’m not particularily talented. Nor am i a highly trained dancer. This is no disparagment on the people who taught me. I never wanted to dance professionally. I never wanted to be able to teach. I just like to dance.

It started when my little sister took classes at our local parks and rec, where she met a fantastic teacher. A year or two later, when I was about 12, that teacher opened her own dance school, and shortly after I started taking classes there as well. I thought It would be fun. I didn’t know that I was about to discover a new passion.

I’ve always been shy. Painfully so. And at first, I hung to the back of the room during rehearsals. I cringed when I was put in the front row of recital pieces. I loved to dance almost right away, but I didn’t want anyone to see me. But something changed, through dancing, I don’t know when. One day I realized that I was at the front of the room, that I wanted more time front and centre on stage. I’m not sure when it happened, but somehow, at some point, I became someone who likes to be centre stage.

I didn’t change completely. Public speaking is still something that makes me feel nauseaous. And I didn’t magically become a terrific dancer at the same time either. With practice I can hold my own in a class of the appropriate level, but I’ll never be a star. At some point that stopped mattering. I just wanted to be on that stage (I mean sure, it would be nice to be a star, but I’ll take what I can get)

After I went away to University, i kept dancing. My classes were different there. Instead of having a teacher who was half a generation older and more experienced, I was being taught by girls my own age. classes were less formal, and much larger. I loved those classes too, but I missed the intimate everybody knows everybody atmosphere of my teacher’s studio. And somewhere along the way my teacher became my friend. She still is.

When I went home for a vacation this spring, one of the few people I had a chance to see was this teacher, and her mom, who is every bit as much a part of that studio. We talked about the studio and about dance, and once again I realized how much I’ve missed it.

I haven’t found a place to dance since we moved to this city. I’m realizing that’s something that NEEDS to change. I’ve been thinking of dance as a luxury I do without for budget reasons. I think I’ve been wrong. This fall, when things are all starting up, I will find somewhere to dance. So Teacher, you did your job well. You may not have manufactured raw talent but you certainly instilled a love of the art. Thanks


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