From the Desk of
Deborah Wenzler Farris,
Chief Executive Officer
We often associate dance with youth. When I was younger, the fact that I started dancing as an adult wasn’t something I talked about. I kept well-hidden the fact that I was a good decade behind my peers in experience (and also a decade or two older if we’re being totally honest).
As life has a way of turning things upside down, my age has now become a plus! It works to Danceworks’ advantage and to my own. As well it should. Somehow we have gotten this thing about aging backwards in modern day society. At 64, I’ve never been happier, even though my knee hurts, I no longer jump, and touching my toes is a stretch. Literally.
With the joy of witnessing our recent year-end showcase still lingering, (Did you see it? Was it awesome or what? What a great place to take class. Just sayin’) there is something else lingering in my thoughts that brings me joy. The parents and grandparents who attended!
(A few of Deb’s photos. Watch the video at the end for all my favorites of the day.)
I had the chance to share a few words before each of the performances. I knew well what my message would be. Come dance! But the truth was, I had not been dancing. A health issue interfered this past year and I stepped back from class. I didn’t want to be reminded of my new limitations. So I stopped going.
I realized though, that if I wanted to encourage anyone to give dance a try I had to get back to it myself. So I went. I let go of any expectation and just enjoyed the movement. But more than the movement, I enjoyed the companionship. One of my favorite moments is watching the regulars welcome the newbies. “How did it feel?” And then they listen and answer questions, just mostly sharing in their renewed joy and newfound health together.
“My only regret,” one of our board member barre workout regulars, Kristin Bergstrom, says, “is that I waited so long to do this! If I can do it, anyone can.” I never get tired of hearing her say that and I love being in class with her.
So, as I was offering my goodbyes to the families leaving the showcase, an elderly gentleman leaned over from his family and said, “You really didn’t start until you were an adult? Do you really teach older people?”
“Yes, really!” I said. “And yes, we really do!”
“Even men? Because I’m 82 and have always wanted to audition for the Buck’s dance team. I think that looks like a lot of fun.”
“Well, you’ve found the right place! See you this summer?”
He smiled and I have a really good feeling I’ll be seeing him this summer.
Now, how about you…?!
You can find out more about classes here.
And just for a little fun, here’s a video of my pictures from the Showcase (made with Majesto). Meet the Danceworks team or find your favorite dance teacher! Hope to see you soon!
Welcome to the Danceworks blog, where we're hoping to share a little bit more about the heart and soul behind Danceworks… what made us join the dance and keeps us dancing, what keeps us inspired, and where we can share some of the stories worth telling.