Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Keep Dancing

Brenda Oehmig, Hope Glymph
Anna Giles, Kathleen Langbehn, Kathryn Yon
Anderson School of Dance was founded in 1972 by Brenda R. Oehmig.  Her goal was to inspire the youth of Anderson through dance, performance and education.  Anna B.Giles and Kathryn K. Yon are proud to carry on the tradition of excellence in dance training. Through Anderson School of Dance's program, students develop a diverse set of skills including artistry, creativity, discipline and confidence.

May 2014 at Anderson University's Rainey Fine Arts Center, Anderson School of Dance said goodbye to eleven dancers they've taught for many years. 
2014 Graduating Seniors
As parents, we appreciate  not only their instruction, but their love and support.  At Anderson School of Dance, it's more than dancing.  It's a tradition of friendships and a world of memories.  Pictures of the studio, friends, teachers, recitals and costumes live in their minds, along with a sign in the downtown studio:

Keep Dancing No Matter What.

And that's what they did.  They danced with homework and projects waiting at home.  They danced before and after volleyball, softball, soccer, and piano practice.  They danced when they passed or failed a test.  They danced when the teacher said, "do it over." They kept dancing when they turned the wrong way, let their hands flop around, or bounced too much with heads and ponytails bobbing. They danced when their sweet hearts were broken or their feelings hurt.  They waited with twisted ankles, broken arms, ear infections, or stomach bugs, then returned to dance on happy as well as sad days.

Sally Hancock
Hope Glymph, Anna Giles
They kept dancing with holes in their shoes, hair uncombed, and tired legs.  A young, cute, but very tired Sally Hancock feel asleep in tap class, but she continued to tap through her senior year.  Mrs. Brenda told Sally and Hope they might be more "jazz instead of ballet girls."   That faster pace was fine with them, and we enjoyed their senior solo jazz performances.  I've tried to picture Hope Glymph's senior dance through 14 recitals, but her smile and personality were better than I imagined.
Adison Markely, Sydney Hamby,
Peyton Finley
With years of ballet, tap, and jazz experience, Peyton Finley, Adison Markley, and Sydney Hamby had enough confidence for a solo, but these great friends (on and off the stage) chose to tap together for their final recital.  Kathleen McElhannon and Kathleen Langbehn wowed us with their poise and proved ASD's commitment to artistry.  Kristen Gurley brought smiles with a bright and fun tap performance.  Samantha Shaw joined senior dancers for classic disco.
Monday night jazz class, Disco
Due to an injury,  Emily Stafford couldn't dance for her senior recital, but she didn't miss her picture.  Why? Anderson School of Dance taught them to dance in the sunshine and the rain, like Matt Constanzo as Gene Kelly.


We held their hands and marched them up the steps lined with Carolina jasmine through the red door surrounded by ivy into the downtown studio where they learned to skip, hop, leap, and turn with initials written on the bottom of their shoes.  We bought dozens of tights and shoes, took an obnoxious amount of pictures and wrote hundreds of checks.  We curled, combed, and bobby-pinned hair, smiled at their fantastic costumes, ordered flowers, laughed, cheered, and proudly watched them dance. 

A time to cry and a time to laugh. A time to grieve and a time to dance. Ecclesiastes 3:4

For these eleven senior dancers, the giggles and stretching on the studio floor has ended,  but they'll keep dancing no matter what.  They'll work and study, win and lose, fall in love, fall out of love, make new friends, cherish old ones, and find their passion in life. 
ASD memories are locked in their hearts, offering confidence, creativity, and discipline to keep dancing through life's many seasons.

Paying tuition, spending a busy week in May preparing for ASD recitals, taking pictures, ordering a DVD, and bringing flowers for these seniors has ended.  But, we'll be there to make sure they keep dancing.  We'll take different pictures, write checks for textbooks and work clothes, and send flowers when their life dreams are met.  We'll watch them dance in the sunshine and the rain.  Maybe, we'll watch them take pictures, write checks, and order flowers for their own Anderson School of Dance dancers.

King Solomon writes of  the seasons we all experience: good and bad, happy and sad, muddy and clear, healthy and sick, victorious and defeated.  


Keep Dancing No Matter What