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Why I Dance (and you should too!)

In a community where so many children need a chance to find their creative voice, I try to share my love of dance and let people see that they can dance too!

When I was a kid, my sister and I loved to do little performances together in our living room.  Always the outgoing one, my sister would put on Petulia Clark's "Downtown" (remember that one, we had it on vinyl!), and sing along.  Being the shy one, I could never bring myself to raise my voice, so instead I would dance, using movement to express all the childish joy I took in that song.  Many years later I am still too shy to sing most of the time, but I will dance at the drop of a hat.  Dancing gives voice to everything I feel, everything I was to say.  More importantly, it is a way of reaching out to others, trying to share something special and fleeting, and inviting them to join in.

This weekend I had the singular experience of performing as part ofevent.  My student dancers and I presented several works-in-progress, and I also danced several duets with violinist Daisy Jopling and singer Tom Spinella.   It was so wonderful to see people come streaming in the door as soon as the music and movement started.  We initiated a conversation with all these people we didn't know, and they responded.  The moment was brief, for as soon as the dances ended and the applause died down most of them moved on to other venues.  But while we were all in the studio together, it brought me back to my afternoon performances with my sister, and I experienced that same childish joy all over again.  And that is why I dance.

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Maureen Winzig June 05, 2012 at 08:15 PM
Andrea, how wonderful! I so wished I could come to the EMC to see all of the performances! Thank you so much for sharing this experience. They're the ones that make life so full and glorious! ~ Maureen ~
Daisy Jopling June 06, 2012 at 12:50 AM
Andrea, this is so beautifully written! you are a gift to us all. Thank you for expanding my music to touch other realms of people's senses and souls, and for bringing your up-lifting and inspiring spirit to everyone you meet. Daisy
Andrea Elam June 06, 2012 at 01:59 AM
Thank you for the kind comments, I really was just speaking from the heart. As fellow artists, you know what a special blessing it is to be able to speak, and share, through your art.

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