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Twenty-One Years of Dance

Twenty-one years ago a little five year old girl walked into her first dance class filled with excitement. She had on her pink tights and black leotard with her dance bag and a huge smile on her face. She loved every minute of it and as soon as she got home, she put her little hand on her hip and said, “Momma, can I go climb a tree now?” She changed into her little pink polka-dotted dress and black rubber boots and off she went.

After her first year of dance, she was done, she wanted to quit. I was against it but her dad let her quit. It was a only a few short weeks when she asked to go back. I explained to her you don’t just get to quit and decide to go back. As a dancer you are part of a team, you let that team down and would have to pay the consequences for your actions. I explained she could ask her aunt, her aunt was the owner of the dance studio she attended. She did ask and was told she had to wait until the next year. The dances had already been redone removing her spot. She wasn’t happy about it but sucked it up and waited. We went to the recital that year as she watched her friends preform, I watched her love for dance grow stronger. She learned a very valuable lesson during the few months she wasn’t allowed to dance, which seemed like a lifetime to her.

She began dancing again that following fall and never looked back. She was allowed to double up on her classes so she could stay with her friends. She worked so hard in class and danced around the house always practicing. I began to notice she was tapping more than anything else. She had found her passion and over the next few days, weeks and years, she honed in on her talent. She learned everything she could, she researched tap history and attended workshops in New York as she got older.

She was finally old enough to audition for the dance company. Once she was at that level she wanted me to tell her my true thoughts. I watched every recital with great intention so I could tell her my honest opinion. She never wanted me to sugar coat it but give her honest feed back so she could do better. I made sure my words were constructive to help her and not be hurtful. She would take my words and grow each year working harder to be the best she could be. When she became a teacher, she wanted me to give her deeper thoughts so she could help her students be better.

When she became a choreographer, that was a proud moment for me. She is very deliberate with each step and arm placement, her goal is to grow a love for tap and challenge each young dancer to do their best and try harder. The steps maybe difficult but she knows they can do it, and she pushes. This determination and passion she carries inside her, drives the dancers to do better, which causes a deep love for her. They look up to her and want to make her proud. This became even more apparent when she announced that she was moving to Los Angeles, this night was her last recital. Her students and even future students were crying because they were looking forward to working with her next year. She encouraged them to continue dancing and doing their best at the studio she and her students grew up in. She is a great mentor and friend. She is my daughter. She is Ginni!

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