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Finding Myself Dancing Again

 In Adult Ballet Class, Dance Training

Submitted by Jeanne Roedel, CCD Adult Dance Student

DanceFound 2019
Image by Amanda Tipton Photography | FB- Amanda Tipton-Photographer | IG – @amandatiptonphotography
DanceFound 2019

For those who love to dance, a dance class is more than just a way to get some exercise. It is more than art. It is a key part of who we are. We start each class with a new canvas – our bodies are our paintbrushes and instruments. Dance is never boring for those who have a passion for it.

All my life, I’ve loved ballet. I danced regularly throughout my childhood, adolescence and early adulthood. Then, like happens to many of us, career and family took over and dance got put on the shelf.  Fortunately and almost accidentally, I found dance again while attending CCD’s first annual performance for their adult students, aka “DanceFound,” in 2011. There was something about the energy in the room I wanted (maybe “needed”) to be a part of…

While the idea of taking ballet class at this point in my life seemed like a stretch, the inspiration from DanceFound defeated my doubts and inertia, and I found myself dancing again. Ten years and nine performances later, dance is now a part of my life again, and I couldn’t be happier! 

Compassionate teaching is at the heart of CCD and is the bedrock of their organization. There is total dedication and acceptance of the dancer. Their vision and their values are manifested in the way the teachers teach and the dancers dance. It’s a community we all get to share and there is an understanding we all experience when we enter the dance studio (or chosen space via Zoom class in our homes during this past year). We stand at the barre (or chair/countertop, etc) ready to begin. A sense of community is felt throughout the space – could be a nod, a smile, a kind gesture, a compliment, a laugh…and new with Zoom, the double thumbs up:). Regardless, one thing is certain, we are all here for the very same reason and although this may be all we know of our fellow adult students at any given class, we know one thing to be true – we share a passion for dance.

As an adult student at CCD, what I do know for sure is my journey doesn’t end unless I decide to quit. My focus is different now that I’m ‘‘getting’ what the journey is all about for me personally. It’s no longer about a triple pirouette or a 180 degree penché, or to be honest, doubles and 135 degrees at most when I was at my prime. Ballet is not easy! Understanding this frees me to dance from a place that carries more personal meaning. I dance with my heart, and surprisingly my feet still do follow. It was about passion, grace and inner strength then and still is today. But, it’s also about being human and knowing it’s ok to still call myself a dancer…an occasional double pirouette and a penché at about 90 degrees on a good day is more than enough. What I do miss though are fouettés, oh how I miss them!

Pirate Jenny by Julia Meng, 2013

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