It’s National Volunteer Week! Danceworks thanks all of its volunteers who lend their time, talent and voice to support our mission. Our volunteers do it ALL! Annually, 200+ volunteers help us run the Mad Hot Ballroom and Tap Competitions, usher at performances, organize concessions, bake sales, fundraisers, and more! We are forever grateful for the commitment and passion of our volunteers. #NVW ... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook

We are unspeakably grateful to United Performing Arts Fund - UPAF President & CEO Deanna Tillisch, and the late Mary Louise Mussoline, 88Nine RadioMilwaukee's Executive Director from 2009-2016... Both true women of impact who have paved the way for the work we do and Milwaukee's arts community at large! ... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook

Incentive to Get Moving in 2017!

Posted on by Deborah Wenzler Farris

Have you been thinking about signing up for that Barre Workout you’ve heard great things about, or maybe trying out our new Caribbean Dance Workout, maybe stepping up for some noontime Tap, after work Hip Hop or Ballet, or starting your weekend out with a little Friday night Salsa, and need a little nudging? Read on. Our next session begins January 2 and here’s some inspiration and incentive:

Meet Jane Lewis. When I found out that she took the most classes of any student at Danceworks this year–150!–I wanted to hear more. 

When Jane first started coming to Danceworks five years ago, she had just retired from her position as a forensic document examiner with the Wisconsin State Crime Laboratory in Milwaukee. Now she works in private practice. This means she’s the one who examines and determines the authenticity of documents like forged checks, threatening letters, loan documents, employment agreements, etc. So don’t mess with her. She’s really strong. Here’s how she got there:

Jane: Learning to tap dance has been my top fun retirement activity. I have made progress, but have much more to learn and perfect.

Deb: How long have you been dancing?

Jane: I began dancing when I was 12 year old.  My first dance class was jazz.

Deb: Did dance go on the shelf for a while (and if so was it hard to come back to it)?

Jane:  Running replaced dance while I trained for and ran 9 marathons from the mid-1990s to 2009.  I still run, but less frequently.  My son’s school activities also filled those days.  I felt free, in retirement, to get back to dance. Returning to regular dance classes has been a delight.

Deb: That’s great to hear because I often hear people say they miss their dancing days or always wished they could dance. We know at Danceworks that it’s never too late to start. What classes do you take?

Jane: I take three tap classes:  Monday 50+ Intermediate/Advanced Tap, Wednesday 50+ Intermediate Tap, and Thursday 50+ Tap Dance Workout.  I also take Barre Workout on Tuesday and Friday mornings.

Deb: What motivates you to dance?

Jane: Dance classes include enchanting elements like music, charming classmates, skilled teachers, challenging movements, and group energy that add up to a very rich and delightful hour.  Dance is also a fun way to stay fit.

Deb: That’s a great list. We’re happy you chose Danceworks.

Jane: Danceworks lives just a short walk from my condo on the Riverwalk, but even if Danceworks was across town instead of nearby, I would attend classes there.  I like the teachers and the entire staff.

Deb: And we like you! So, I watched you perform in the DanceLAB this past summer in the DOT concert. It was a beautiful performance and I loved seeing the stage filled with dancers of all ages. How much have you performed throughout your life and what was that experience like for you?

Jane: I enjoyed the opportunity to perform, along with several of my classmates, in the summer concert, DiverCity.  I came away with new appreciation for the amount of practice required to get a show ready for performances and how skilled the DOT professional dancers are.  The choreography process proved fascinating.  The three performances of DiverCity were both frightening and exciting for someone like me who has not performed much. It ultimately turned out very well and the full houses and appreciative audiences were gratifying.

Dance skills helped me become a middle school and high school cheerleader which was a bit of early performance. I also performed in the Academy of the Dance yearly concerts with members of my jazz dance class in middle school in Racine. I spent many years as an adult learning to Ballroom dance, with a special emphasis on Swing and Lindy Hop. More recently I performed with members from the 50+ Monday tap class for an IMAP concert in December, 2015.

Deb: What impact has dance had on the rest of your life?

Jane: Learning to tap dance and attending Barre class inspires me to keep dancing.  My son and I did a lively swing dance to the song “Rockin Robin,” for the Mother-Son dance at his September wedding—proving that those dance skills are forever useful. I love to attend concerts to experience and enjoy the amazing movements in dance especially Danceworks and Milwaukee Ballet.

Deb: I think you just gave me an idea for a new workshop—we have a Daddy/Daughter class that’s great fun, why not a Mother/Son class…? Maybe you could teach it! What would you say to someone thinking about taking class?

Jane: Sign up today.  Do it.  Dance will enrich your life and keep you fit.

I’d like to invite you to come try a class at our Free-For-All on Sunday afternoon, December 18, Noon to 4:30pm. Check out the day-of schedule here. Register for any of our upcoming Winter/Spring classes at the Free-For-All and receive a 20% discount.

Need more incentive? We have the Danceworks Rewards Program–Danceworks Dozen (adult classes only): get your 13th class free. Right to the Point (adult or youth classes): Achieve perfect attendance for 2 months and earn a special gift. The Big Feet (adult classes only): Take 24 classes and earn a Danceworks tank top exclusive to the rewards program. See if you can beat Jane at her game! 🙂

Once you walk through our doors, I think you’ll be glad you did.

You can find out more about our dance and fitness classes here. Wishing you and your family a wonderful Holiday Season and hope to see you at Danceworks in 2017!


Welcome to my blog, where I'm hoping to share a little bit more about the heart and soul behind Danceworks…what makes me tick, what keeps me inspired, and where I can share some of the stories worth telling.