There are few things in my life that I love more than spending a long day at my dance studio. I was a late bloomer in terms of dance, I didn’t sign up for my first class until the 6th grade. My sister was taking classes at Catch the FUNk the year before, and I would sit in the small waiting room on Albion Street reading, doing homework, and wishing I was in the dance studio. The next year I signed up for Ms. Sharon’s Hip Hop class, and the rest is history. Sharon has become a second mom to me and one of my very best friends. Every May, Sharon opens her studio doors for her ‘college girls’ with lots of hugs and love. She lets us take over the studio into the late hours of the night, and she’s always there to buy us onion ring towers from Yardhouse, or a Frose from Jake and Joe’s after a long day of dancing.
Most people would find organizing costumes, cutting music, copying dance lineups, and fixing backdrops to be among the worst chores in the world, but when it’s for Sharon and the studio, I can’t help but do it with a huge smile on my face. I am always quick to help with the seemingly annoying and difficult tasks because any time that I can spend at the studio is time well spent.
Even if I’m not dancing, just sitting in front of the giant mirrors makes my heart warm. I’m writing this post now, sitting in the corner of the room, watching young girls practice their recital routine, with huge smiles on their faces. This is my favorite part of the year. The time when dancers start to nail their routines and really get into the groove of things as the recital looms closer. The time when finishing touches are put on dances and costumes, and you leave dance exhausted because you ran your routine so many times. I live for recital season. Every year I count down the days until that weekend in June where everything is chaotic and hectic, but happy and peaceful all at the same time. I will never grow old of the joy that comes over my entire body when you nail choreography for the first time. Even as I sit here, 22 years old, getting ready to perform in my 10th recital, I have the same nervous, happy energy that I had in my very first recital. With just days left until teh recital I am getting more and more anxious to be on stage. I love the feeling of being under the bright lights and just knowing you have to nail your routine, but also knowing that if it doesn’t go that well, that the world isn’t going to suddenly end.
My dance fam has been a shining light in my life ever since we all started dancing together on Thursday nights. It feels like ages ago that we firmly cemeted our friendship back in Diane and McKersin’s class back in 2013. We had all been friends and danced together for years, but that year, I’m not sure what changed. We finally all just clicked, and we’ve remained friends ever since. Every May we come back to the studio happy to assist classes, learn new dances, and watch Diane, Sharon, and Jessann teach.
As recital day looms closer and closer, I am sad that the mess of stress and anxiety and fun of the weekend will be coming to a close, but I am oh so excited for Summer dance trips to Canobie Lake, Pa’s Pool, and the Lowell Spinners. And I’m even more excited to be able to be back and take classes and be at the studio more often in the fall.
So, to Sharon thank you for having the most wonderful studio and the most wonderful heart. Sorry if I made you cry, but I figured you needed to hear this this weekend. Just know that all of the anxiety of backdrops getting caught in stage lights, and missing headpieces, and ripped tights is all so worth it, because kid’s like me will keep coming back for more every single year. Love you the most.
To my dance fam, thanks for always being there and thanks for always being down for Yardhouse and Iron Town. Thanks for goofing off in the studio and for recital movie nights, and the secret recital society, and every thing in between. Love you all to the moon and back.
To everyone else reading this, don’t stop doing what you love just because you got older. I really don’t know where I’d be without dance, and even if I’m not the best at it, I never want to stop. If there’s something you love, don’t let your age or lack of ability ever stop you from doing it.