The performing arts have been a part of my life as long as I can remember. Like so many children I was singing and dancing while I was learning to walk and talk. To me it is a normal part of being a kid. I have so many parents of my students who comment on how their child likes to dance around the house just like they are a prima ballerina! This makes me so happy!
It is so wonderful when children feel comfortable enough to express themselves this way. I don’t know what I would do if I couldn’t express myself through music and dance. It really is therapeutic. Sometimes if you are happy or sad all you can do is dance and sing to get that emotion out! It feels great!
When I was in my 20s and was a “starving artist” I would think from time to time if I should have chosen another path. I loved what I was doing but having such an insecure job was scary at times. I am a bit of a planner and even though it was exciting not knowing what was coming up in my future there came a time when that lifestyle was enough. I wanted more stability and a family.
At the time I was teaching dance and musical theater to kids and having a great time. I realized that I could still follow the path I originally started. Expressing my art was not just about being on stage. It was just as freeing for me to move and be musical and to pass that love on to others.
Being on the stage is fun however and I hope to get back to it someday. I do feel that it is a very important part of learning a performing arts skill. The kind of vulnerability that one can feel while expressing this art in the lights and in front of other people is a wonderful challenge. I know when I was growing up that was so important to me. I loved showing my parents how hard I had worked and that I achieved my goals. I am glad that at Mayer Arts we have many options for our students – from performing in a classroom to performing on a big stage. No matter how big the audience it is always a part of our curriculum. I think that if a child can perform in from of an audience it just contributes to their self esteem. What a huge accomplishment! What else can they achieve?
When I was young the performing arts were all about fun, self expression and accomplishment. As I get older I also realize how the arts have kept me healthy and strong. Having to use your body to express either singing or dance takes a lot of energy. Not only do I need to keep up my endurance up but I need to make sure my posture stays in line and I keep my strength and flexibility. You never know if you had chosen another path if you would still end up in the same place. I hope that I would have kept dancing and singing but who knows? I feel so grateful that I have had this gift in my life.
It really is all about keeping emotionally and physically healthy. That is what the performing arts means to me – expressing yourself in a powerful way! It is my goal to pass that on to my students. I know most of them are not going to be performers in their future but I want them to take with the technique that I teach so they can use it as they grow into adults.