MAD FOR DANCE
Meyerhofer Academy of Dancing
From a Dancer's Mom...
Once upon a time I had a little girl who was always twirling and prancing around the house on her tippy-toes. I thought it would be a good idea to put my little girl into a dance class. That would be good for her I thought - to socialize with other kids and learn something too. I remember the day I called Miss Lisa and explained that I thought my daughter would be suitable for dance class and asked how I would enroll her. She was 3 1/2 at the time.
One dance class a week for a half of an hour. That's where it started. I never would have thought we'd still be at Meyerhofer Academy 15 years later six days a week. As a parent you put your child in activities as much to get a break from them as they get a break from you! Part of you hopes that your child is THE ONE who has some sort of extraordinary talent and will be the next Karen Kain or Chan Hon Goh. But that's not why we do it. We do it because there is much more than just learning proper dance technique that we drive them to and from dance class several times a week.
Our dancer has learned a lot. Strength - both of the body and the mind. She has learned how to work with other people, sometimes compromising her ideas for someone else's. She has learned how to help others achieve their personal goals in the studio - to be a mentor. She has learned how to teach her skill to others and the challenges that that presents. She has learned to be confident in her abilities. She has learned to be a responsible, honest individual. She has also learned how to fail, to console and be consoled.
These are not just dance skills, but LIFE skills. Learning how to work hard to achieve a goal, how to work with others, how to accept defeat and failure along the way. Also how to rejoice in personal triumphs and those of others. How to be responsible for those in her charge and the security of the studio. She has learned how to be organized and multi-task. How to accept failures and how to learn from them and improve.
As a "dance family" we have had the opportunity to travel a fair bit, going to Myrtle Beach, Virginia Beach and a wonderful family vacation to perform at Disney representing Meyerhofer Academy of Dancing. We have had the good fortune to be able to provide her with a high standard of excellent teaching which has resulted in successful examination results with the R.A.D. Through her personal drive and complete passion for dance, other opportunities have come along to develop these skills further - performing and touring with Ballet Jorgen, Canadian Ballet Youth Ensemble, classes with world renowned dancers and teachers including: Karen Kain, Che Chung, Chan Hon Goh, Rex Harrington, Martine Lamy and Nancy Kilgour to name a few.
As I take this time to reflect on what has happened over 15 years, I still find it hard to believe that we are still doing this. It makes me proud that my little girl is now a young woman who is ready to face the challenges that the world of dance presents. All of the tools she needs she has learned through the years under the guidance and direction of - Miss Lisa.
We have been lucky to have a child who has the passion for the art. Passion. It is the one thing you can't learn. It is a gift. It happens to be one shared by Miss Lisa. This must come from within. Technique has been taught well - passion has been shared generously. Ten years from now, when she has carved her own destiny, the things she has learned from Miss Lisa will not be forgotten. They are part of her very being and cannot be erased.
I'm glad I made that phone call 15 years ago. It has made a huge impact on my life as well. I hope one day to make another phone call to say, "Lisa, my granddaughter is twirling and prancing on her tippy-toes. Do you think it's time?"
Mrs. Susan Bagshaw
A Heartfelt Testimonial
After watching you and your students at the performance of "Pinocchio" I feel compelled to write you to share my thoughts and feelings. You see I am a master instructor in a "Classical Karate School" and have been training and teaching for over fifteen years. What I practice every day with my instructor and students is not a sport but truly a living "ART" which I feel is very similar to dance. While I watched I was struck by many of the similarities in movement shared by our two disciplines. When I listened to, watched and felt your last number "Live and Let Die" many of the sentiments that I teach my students were echoed.
One year ago my wife and I talked with Miss Beverly in the Cambridge Centre about signing our then three-year-old daughter up at your school. I remember how impressed my wife and I were with Miss Beverly's intelligence, composure and confidence in explaining to us why we should sign our daughter up under your guidance. Besides being struck by the overall person that Miss Beverly is I have carried three memories with me from that day.
One was how passionate Miss Beverly was about dance. As an instructor of a chosen lifestyle I immediately recognized the levels of commitment demanded at your school and was filled with confidence in your teaching. When a new student enters one of my schools and asks me about myself or my program I always refer them to one of my students for explanation, so it was nice to find a similarity.
The second was when I asked Miss Beverly about her relationship with you. She responded by telling me you were like a second mother to her. This is the type of relationship I also have with my Sensei (teacher). He is much more to me than just a coach (he is even the godfather of my children) so I had found my second link to you and your school.
The third thing I remember was when your Mother looked at me and stated plainly and simply "We produce the best dancers in town." As a Karate instructor this was the kind of confidence I was looking for. When someone comes to my school I tell them they will not receive any better instruction anywhere in the world. With these three links embedded in my mind I pulled out my checkbook and signed my eager smiling daughter up for lessons.
As I watched on Saturday my wife and I were both moved to tears several times. You personally are a beautiful dancer but also and more importantly to me a great teacher. I do not know anything about the proper execution of dance techniques but I do know proper body, mind and spirit movement when I see it. You easily had ten or more students on stage who are close to or have arrived at dance mastery. The dance techniques and the person were inseparable resulting in a beautiful expression of moving art.
Even more important to me than the dancing was the strong feeling of family that I felt from you and your students on Saturday night. It is clearly a tight knit group that looks out for its own. As I sat and listened on Saturday I was reminded of how important it is for everyone young and old, male and female to find something in life that makes him or her feel passionate and accepted.
When the one father stood up and thanked you for helping to raise their children, I was reminded of my own father addressing my Sensei at my wedding. He also thanked my instructor for helping to raise me and guide me while I was away from home.
As a father I am happy that there are still people out there who care and places that you can bring your child to find guidance and a mentor. What you have created for your girls is truly incredible and my wife and I are very proud that our daughter has the opportunity to learn from you and your staff. As was mentioned on Saturday I hope that you continue to teach for many more years to come all on your own terms and in the way that you feel is best.
People say that you don't remember what people say about you rather you remember the way they make you feel. I want you to know that as I left on Saturday night and watched my daughter dance her way out to the van in her little yellow tutu I felt truly happy, my wife felt happy and most importantly our daughter Sydney felt happy. From this moment on I will always remember the way we all felt at Sydney's first dance recital. Thank you for making our first recital a truly happy family experience, one we will all treasure and remember always.
Thank you for all your dedication and hard work.
Randy Dauphin (A Proud Father)
P.S. Sara and I are hoping that our 2 1/2-year-old son will enjoy dancing at your school as much as our daughter does. Every Saturday while he watches and waits for his sister he asks when he can start. I can hardly wait.
|1260 Bishop Street | Cambridge | Ontario | Phone: 519-653-5301|
Owner - Artistic Director