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Sunday, May 17, 2009

When The Whole World Dances

-Stephani Hecht

I love dance. I love to watch it, I love to do it, and I love to discover new forms of it. Dance has always been a part of my life. I grew up in the dance studio. Some of my best memories were waiting backstage for the show to start, nervous butterflies dancing though my stomach, as I peeked around the curtain to see how full the audience was. The glow of the spotlight always glared in my eyes as the smell of rosin and dust tickled my nose. Some of my most embarrassing moments were from dance too. I still cringe as I remember the time my top flipped up in front of an audience of hundreds as I did a handstand. It was a crowd of older men too and all I had underneath was a strapless bra. But I can tell you I was the most popular gal there.

A few month ago I was riveted by the show Superstars of Dance. Dancers from all over the world competed against one another. They had everything from Irish Clogging to Russian Ballet. I was wowed by the Chinese Monks and the American Hip-Hop dancers the most. It is a very special treat to see so many different types of dance. To taste so many new flavors if you will. When I get to see a great routine, it’s like finding a treasure. I couldn’t help but wonder how much better the world would be if we decided all of our differences by way of “dance off”.

“I’m sorry County A, but County B has served you because your jets went into their no-fly zone.”

Seriously though, unless someone is a dancer, they have no idea how much hard work goes into it. All the blood, sweat and tears, which go into making a routine look effortless. My daughter is on a competition dance team. She practices three days a week and her rehearsals start in June and run all through the year. Now before you all think that’s not that much, let me tell you she’s only eight. The older students practice six days a week. It all pays off in the end when they go on stage and give flawless performances.

My daughter has a marked speech delay and most people struggle to understand her. That all changes when she dances. She can shuffle, turn, flip, and point her toes with the best of them and she knows it. As soon as she puts on the jacket, that has the name of her studio on the back, she holds her head higher and walks with a strut. When she’s dancing there are no barriers and she feels special.

“When I dance, Mama, I’m a princess.”

She is too.

Dance is a universal language. We all can enjoy its beauty, be we a prima ballerina from Russia or a street-dancer from America. If you’re feeling sad, dance. If you’re mad, dance. If you’re stressed, dance. I promise, it will make you feel better.

Now, a shameless plug for my favorite group from the Superstars of Dance. I am at awe with these kids!


Erin Sinclair said...

I dance whenever I can, it makes me feel like a goddess. Good for your girl, she should feel like a princess, all the time!


Celia Jade said...

I love dance too, Stephani--especially classic couples dances.


Stephani Hecht said...

Thanks Erin and Celia. Right now dance is my daughter's life and it is so much fun to watch her enjoy it.

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