Perhaps it’s the time of the year, or my recent accident that has made me stop to appreciate the amazing web of friendship and support my dance life has given me. Sometimes that support system has been under appreciated because since the age of six, this is all I’ve ever known. But now that I see myself watching another generation’s lives be shaped by these relationships and friendships, I realize it’s power and recognize it’s importance in my life.
While we can talk about the benefits of dance class all day long (poise, strength, flexibility, balance, body awareness, self confidence, and so on and on and on…) the most important part of the life of a dancer would never make it’s way onto a judge’s score sheet.
As a child and teenager, I idolized my dance teachers, lived for being with my dance friends and always felt at home when I was in dance class. It quickly became my second family and part of my identity. Fast forward to adult life where I now live for times when I get to catch up with those same people, attend their weddings, meet their children and support each other as we navigate life.
Now in our 6th year as a studio, what is one of my most cherished parts of this experience as a studio owner is my growing group of AAD Alumni. I love the way my girls stay in touch, support me as well as the studio and always come back to visit. One alumna even joined my amazing staff and taught class for me after the accident.
Beyond my dancers, witnessing the kindness I have seen from dance parents has been a wonderful lesson in humanity. While we have a few male students, and a whole mess of fantastic dance dads, this dance world is a beautiful example of women supporting women. I am proud to be a product of a supportive dance environment led by women and I am honored that I can continue that legacy. I will never stop telling my dancers to point their feet or stretch their legs, but I am most proud of the supportive community we are creating.