Thursday, May 14, 2009

Dance Prayer Circle

On Saturday, May 9th, we had our very first Dance Company Concert of 2009. This show was for our advanced dancers (ages 12 - 18). Every year, we have a prayer circle and all of the dancers hold hands and each of us puts one pointed foot in the center of the cirlce. It is our tradition each show and I just love it. Our choreographers praise our dancers. Our Graduating Seniors give their parting words, Cinda (our owner and Artistic Director) says something so wonderful and I usually say a little something.

This year, was so special to me because my daughter was dancing for the very first time in our Jr. Dance Company show. At the same time, Cinda's daughter (who I watched grow from 3 years old into an accomplished dancer and beautiful 18 year old girl) was dancing in her very last Dance Company Concert. Emotions were high and we have all been working so hard for months.

Here is my speech:

I am in awe of you girls. I go to work each day in my teeny-tiny closet of an office and I sit at my computer typing and creating schedules and e-mailing and right outside my door, little miracles are happening all around me.

Because of the line of work I am in....I have the chance to see our sweet 2 1/2 year old dancers take their very first dance steps.

I am blessed to have such a great boss and dear friend, in Cinda who has encouraged my daughter to take dance classes since she was 2 years old. Charlotte was a newborn in a little crib in my office and every day, during her very first year of life, I would take her in to see our dance company girls dance. You have been with her since the very beginning and are like big sisters to her. And now, because of your inspiration...she is dancing in her very first company show.

In my 16 years of working here at The Studio Atlanta Dance, I have seen our young company members start out in our company program and several years later, I witness the moment when that "light" is turned on and before our very eyes, the evolution of student to dancer begins.

And then we have YOU! You are truly what it is ALL about! YOU are the true definition of HOPE and DREAMS at The Studio Atlanta Dance. You are what Cinda had in mind when she opened her Studio 28 years ago. It is why our staff gets up in the morning and what we want for our youngest dancers - for them to stick with us and if they DO, they will leave this school knowing, without a shadow of a doubt that they are dancers and they can achieve ANYTHING!

Every recital season, we witness another miracle in you as you blossom into beautiful performers. And with the love, guidance and passion of our wonderful teachers like Angela, Dana, Tamara, Lonnie, Marci, Robbie and Caylan, you will leave this school as incredible human beings, as well.

So tonight, I want you to look back on how far you have come in your lifetime of dancing AND this year....and CELEBRATE! Let the muse come out of you and take the stage, confident in knowing that we are so proud of our beautiful, talented, wonderful dancers.

There is an old Sufi saying that says "God respects us when e work, but he LOVES us when we dance".

And after we all had time to say our prayers, praise and congratulations...we continue holding hands. We have another tradition where we pass the "hand squeeze" around the circle. It is such a BEAUTIFUL way to start our shows.

Well another season has come and gone. We have new, young dancers beginning in the Fall and we have four more Senior Dancers graduating. It makes me think of that great Joni Mitchell song called THE CIRCLE GAME.

"And the seasons, they go round and round and the painted ponies go up and down. We're captured on a carousel of time. We can't return, we can only look...behind from where we came and go round and round and round in the CIRCLE GAME."

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Graduating Senior Slide Show

My masterpiece....5 months in the making. This was a collaboration with my good friend Angela Harris (choreographer and Mentor at The Studio Atlanta Dance) She choreographed a dance to this slide show (hence the long time looking at the picture at the end - the girls are dancing in front of the screen at that point). It was just magic and a dream of mine for a long time to have to two come together!