Thursday, January 13, 2011


Dance was fantastic this week. 

The 12 year olds are moving along nicely.  In fact, I was so impressed with them, I even told them so!  I'm not exactly generous with the compliments to the entire group - I save them for individuals who have earned the praises - but they deserved it. 

I followed that with a great Workshop class.  This class challenges me every week and this one was no exception.  For recital, we did a piece to Streets of Philadelphia.  How do I describe it?  I don't consider it ballet, modern, or jazz, so I'm calling it Contemporary. SYTYCD has made that genre popular.  Or as I dubbed it Tuesday - ContemporMARY!!  This week I started a new Contemporary piece to 'And I'm Telling You...' from Dream Girls. 

Philly became one of our favorite dances of the year.  It was different and emotional and special.  Months before, I told my girls the story of the movie and being afflicted with Aids and all that this song is talking about.  The girls loved being able to translate to the audience with the use of their bodies and dance in a different way then we have ever done before.  Our creation was ever evolving as we moved through our 3 minutes, even up to the week before recital.  It was nerve wracking.  We had no idea what to expect when we presented it to the audience - we loved it for what it was to us and didn't much care about how they felt about it.  Would audiences get the nuances of Jackie flying through the air as if reaching for heaven and yet coping with her body flipping over and landing on her feet to continue on?  My selection of a men's white shirt as our costume... leaving the feeling of being naked and exposed?  Did we evoke the feelings of hunger and pain, sorrow and yearning?  We were touched by it deeply and as it turns out, so was the audience!  Compliments came pouring in to all of us... very very fulfilling.  The biggest compliment of all came from Diane.  Diane was my teacher as a teenager, as old as the girls I teach now, and I highly respect her opinion.  As we stood in line to get a bite to eat at the After Party, the words slipped from her lips.  'Mary, that was the best dance I have ever seen.'  And she meant it.  I will never forget it.

As I look back on this, the similarities to my situation are uncanny, ironic, almost unbelievable.  My hope is as I fly through the air and flip over and over during these next few months, that I land on my feet and continue on ... shirt intact.


Juliane said...


Kimberly Sabatini said...

OMG!!!! I just love you...and HATE that I missed class this week. Grrrrr

Jacklyn Faust said...

You will Mary.....and there are countless people there to help you land safely, like you do for us in so many ways :)

Wendy S Marcus said...

You'll do it, Mary. Nothing can couquer your spirit! And Jacklyn...I'd like to help Mary land safely, too....Where do I sign up?

DOI said...

Mary, I was moved even more by this blog entry than by all the others. Your skill and creativity as a writer reflect your talent as a dancer -- and you express your indomitable spirit through both writing and dancing. It is a privilege for me to be on the team of such a special person -- YOU!