Ballet Austin's Courses Inspire a Renewed Love of Movement
To read Laura’s original essay as published by the Austin American-Statesman, click here.
By Laura Bond Williams
In early March, I sat on the floor outside the Shiflet studio at Ballet Austin, occasionally peering into my 6-year-old’s pre-ballet class while entertaining my 4-year-old with crayons and a coloring book. Another waiting mother walked by, then turned and said to me, “You’re the one who wrote that article in the Statesman last fall, about taking classes here, aren’t you?” After swallowing my surprise at being “recognized,” I smiled and said yes, that was me. “I saved it and put it on my refrigerator,” she said.
My eyes welled with tears. Last summer I returned to dancing after a 10 year absence. I literally could not sit still any longer. After watching Butler Community School teachers Danny and Rocker put a class of dancers through their Broadway paces, I succumbed to their lure. I literally pulled my ballet shoes out of a drawer, and figuratively put my fears on a high shelf.
Will I be the oldest person in the class? Will I look silly? Will I remember how to dance? No. Maybe. Yes.
I felt like Gene Kelly’s young hoofer in Singin’ in the Rain, who went knockin’ on agents’ doors singing “Gotta dance, gotta dance, gotta dance.”
Stepping back into Danny’s and Rocker’s classes unraveled a wonderful string of events. I joined the Community School musical theatre workshop “Magic in Manhattan,” confronted my fear of singing and danced my heart out to “Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town” in the Austin Ventures Studio. I had so much fun that I’m doing another workshop this spring.
I am grateful to Ballet Austin and the Butler Community School for creating a place where a former dancer can remember her dreams, while living a new one.