The Dancing Years

A couple times a year I have the opportunity of attending my niece's dance recitals at Chandos Pattison Auditorium. The company is called Dance Barn Studios, and is located in Fort Langley. What dedication of some to pursue such talents to their end, in both performing and teaching the beauty of dance to others.

I started taking ballet when I was five, and attended dance classes until I was finished high school. As a teenager, every week I would take the bus downtown to the YMCA with my tights and ballet shoes and practice at the barre. This for me was the high moments of a young girl's life, the dedication and resilience needed to be graceful on stage, in the studio, and in person. It spills over into every part of life if you are a dancer, if you are meant to dance. The dance captured me as a ten year old, and I wanted to be part of the National Ballet at a young age. I read books about Anna Pavlova, the young ballerina, and tried to copy difficult dance moves. To master them I would practice in the swimming pool, which slows down movement and articulates the motions, and it worked magic. The older girls I knew who could do ballet moves that I could not, I copied underwater until I could do them also.

I was part of a performing dance troupe in high school, and we practiced and performed locally and did dance numbers at churches, schools and  fairs. I also did several summer intensive performing arts trips, and travelled across Europe doing song & dance in 1992. I spent a week in Spain during the '92 Olympics and three weeks in Germany, doing three performances a day. Back then, I was adventurous and it gained me a solo role, so I opened each performance singing the opening song.

By the time I was in university, I had leaned a fair amount of Israeli dancing and taught Israeli dancing to a small team of TWU dancers to perform for the school and at a few other venues. Dance has and will always be my choice instead of group sports or other exercise: it is beautiful, expressive, cathartic, and brings discipline with a measured practiced result.

When in doubt, dance to liberate the soul in every dimension.