A Note From Debra:

My students know how much I love this art form and want to instill a love of it in every person and child I meet. To my frame of mind, everyone should adore the ballet.

I don’t consider myself simply a dance teacher; taking classes here is a study of a very old classical art form. One that is demanding and relentless. One in which very few will ever be able to make a career out of, and the ones that do, will find that career much too short lived and not nearly lucrative enough for the amount of time and effort they’ve put into it.

Being a dancer means striving on daily basis for a level of excellence that is unreachable. Perfection is impossible, but nonetheless we try. We learn to never say, “I can’t.” We learn that we have to execute movements technically correct, and also on the music, and with artistic expression while remembering the choreography and what comes next. It means sometimes our muscles ache, and tremble, but yet we drive ourselves to hold that leg up. We learn not to moan, and groan and complain while stretching – football players may do that – but not dancers. We learn to hold ourselves up and not slump around like the rest of the population. We learn that giving energy gives us energy. We learn to eat properly and take care of our instruments; our bodies. We learn to reach out and believe that holding a balance on the tips of our toes, spinning multiple times and leaping high into the air are within our grasp, and so the seemingly impossible becomes possible. We learn patience and that by doing things with precision, slowly, repetitively, then building speed, but with always meticulous attention to detail, we develop mastery. We learn to give our full attention to the present moment and so we learn a special kind of quiet focus that becomes meditative. We learn a reverence for our teachers and our art form that carries over into a respect and consideration of others.

Add to this the beauty of ballet, and the joy inside that we feel when moving our bodies to music and this is why we dance. And although we may or may not have a career in dance, all these lessons will serve us well in our lives always.

Debra Hughes