I will apologize now, this one is a little more personal..
I feel like so much has happened in the last few weeks. It is different when you are living in paradise and surrounded by natural beauty and wonderful people. You don't really want to think about the sad things. I knew coming into this program that I was signing up to be an international professional, but I never thought it would be hard being this far away from home.
A few weeks ago I got news that my grandmother had passed away. I had no idea I would take it as hard as I did, but being so far away from your family in such times is much harder than you can ever imagine. Fortunately I was able to make it home for the funeral and some spend much needed time with my family, but I am beginning to understand that I may not always be so lucky.
Today, my dance teacher of 15 years, and her husband passed away. She was an inspiration to me and so many other young girls. She was tough and unrelenting, but she taught us how to shine. We learned a skill that brings joy into the world every time it is performed, whether it be by an adorable 3-year old class or our Jr. Jazz competitive team. I still remember how she used to talk to us before performances, "Point your toes, and give it all you've got! Sell it!" And we would. Not only did we learn dance from her, but we learned that sometimes you will fall in the middle of a routine and there's nothing you can do about it. All you have to do is get right back up with a smile on your face and act like nothing happened at all.
Thanks to Lynn, I have way too many sequined costumes, jazz shoes, character shoes, ballet tights, leotards, bobby pins, caboodles, and lipsticks. I can do leaps, turns, high kicks, axles, and all kind of tricks but I wouldn't trade it for the world. Some of my best memories were out there on that stage performing for hundreds of people. I love that feeling. I live for that feeling. Just being out there with nothing but your body and the music. And she loved it too. Sometimes I think she got more nervous than we did before competitions. "Ooooo sell it girls!" she'd always say before big performances.
Lynn Bates is missed by so many of her little girls, just like me, who she watched grow up from the cute little age of 3 all the way to 18. She was there for us, every week. She has been an inspiration and role model to me my entire life. Heaven is going to have some fabulous dancers!
So this blog is just for you Lynn (and Don, of course). Don't worry, I'm still dancing like crazy (maybe with a little more Latin influence now) and I don't ever plan to stop. Who knows, I may even teach some time soon! I think I speak for all of your dancers when I say, thank you for being such an amazing teacher and role model to all of us. We wouldn't be the same without you. And we certainly wouldn't be able to count in sets of 8 ;)
5, 6, 7, 8!
"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who couldn't hear the music." -Friedrich Nietzsche