I’ve been dancing since I was three years old. My studio was my second home, more family than friends. I was there every day, either taking classes or teaching. When I went to college, I missed teaching. One of my friends mentioned that there is a rift between the professors of our college and the other members of the High Country and Watauga County, NC (where our college, Appalachian State, is), caused by an income disparity. I thus decided that I would start my own dance program, one that offered pay-what-you-can dance classes so that every child could learn to dance. I’ve been so lucky to have been able to participate in dance classes (and continue to do so), but I realize it’s an expense many families can’t manage.
Currently, the program offers six classes (ballet, tap, and contemporary) on Fridays and Saturdays to over 65 students. More than half of our students are on full scholarship. Outside of the studio, I work during the week on registration, performances, and sponsorship. We’ve become a part of a local studio, Northwestern Studios. Under this agreement, I do a bit more work and receive a paycheck. All my other assistants are volunteers.
I love Anyone Can Dance! because it allows me to to share my love of dance with so many children. I love seeing their smiles and seeing them master new steps. Dance is more than an after school activity – it is expression without words, a way to tell a story without opening your mouth. It teaches discipline, patience, and self-confidence. It allows us to share our souls with each other.