Reaching into the Community
I sat down with one of my former students to talk about her thoughts about dance. It brings me such joy to see my former students still dancing. It also hurts my heart when some are not dancing anymore because their high school doesn't offer dance and they can't afford private lessons. This is one of the reasons I DANCE BECAUSE was formed - to give students access to dance. I've often been asked "why don't you open your own dance studio?" That is not God's plan for me. I'm a connector. There are enough quality dance programs in our area, we just need to make them accessible to those who really need them. Read Tiaris's story of how she keeps active with dance.
Tiaris is a 9th grade student at Paramus Catholic High school. Although she is still figuring out who she is, she knows she is a dancer at heart. At a young age she was inspired by her aunt who used to belly dance. She loved the way she moved but knew that movement wasn't quite for her. Her mom enrolled her in ballet at age 4. In the beginning, Tiaris was very shy. She didn't like talking to people and she constantly hid from others. She credits dance with helping her overcome her shyness. "Dance taught me to respect who I am."
When asked why do you dance, Tiaris replied, "I dance because it's my way to express my personality. It's the one thing that will keep me calm. Every feeling I have, I can dance it out. It is my only escape.
Today Tiaris dances with her school's dance team. She thinks it's pretty cool as this is her first time doing competition.
Tiaris is motivated by her mom. Her mom, a former Newark School board member, does a lot of significant work in the community. Tiaris wants to be like her and impact her community in her own way.