November 10, 1999 Just Dance!
Long before Nike’s “Just Do It” slogan appeared on everything, Mrs. D. had a “Just Dance!” bumper sticker on her car. “Just Dance!” became an adage by which her students lived. For 13 years, I sweated, stretched and danced under Mrs. D’s tutelage in the studios of Hilo School of Ballet.
My piano lessons were next door to the HSB studio, and I used to watch the girls dance while waiting for my mom to pick me up. There was also a hula halau in the same old, yellow Canario Building in Downtown Hilo, and the girls always seemed to be having so much fun. I longed to be a hula dancer or a ballerina, and Mom let me choose one or the other.
I chose ballet.
Until then, I was a very shy little girl who hid behind my mom, and who couldn’t even order a cheeseburger at McDonalds. Most people who know me now would never recognize the timid kid I once was. And, it’s all because of ballet.
Ballet gave me the chance to perform. In my first recital, I was a “blossom” in Beauty and the Beast. I literally “blossomed” through dance.
The other weekend, I went to see Miss Saigon. Everytime I go to the theater, I am just overwhelmed by the excitement and thrill of the performers. Miss Saigon was especially fabulous. I first learned about the wonderful music in the play from my friend, Shannon. Like me, Shannon grew up dancing, but she also has a beautiful voice, and sung “I’d Give My Life For You” at a recital. She stood in line from 6:00 the morning the tickets went on sale back in April. We sat in the 3rd row, totally captivated by the show.
On the way home, after talking in vivid detail about everything we loved about the show, the conversation shifted, as it usually does, towards going back to dance classes.
My excuse is that I don’t have the time and money. However, I have promised myself that if I have the resources, my first priority will be to start dancing again. I am convinced that it will keep me happy and healthy for long time. I will definitely introduce my children and students to performing, because I believe that it promotes confidence, strength and an appreciation for the arts.
In college, I took hula, and in Japan I learned traditional Japanese dance. I’ve also dabbled in jazz and bon-odori (Japanese O-Bon dancing,) and my next goal is to try swing dancing!
Ballet is not a sport, as there are never any ballet competitions. It’s a purely beautiful art that the dancer loves, and the audience loves to watch. I am forever grateful that my mom sponsored all my dance lessons as a kid, because it really taught me more than just plies, pirouettes and adagios. It taught me that art is just as important as reading and math, and it fostered a passion that will always be a part of me.
Mrs. D left Hilo a few years ago, and moved to the mainland. We were all sad to see her go, and many of us have never danced since. But, if she left us with just one last message, it is, “Just Dance!”
Susan Sensei’s English Lesson #4(スーザン先生の英語講座 その4）
For two years I taught English in Japan, and was “スーザン先生” to my students in Ikaho town, Gunma Prefecture. I will try and introduce new words and phrases for the Japanese visitor to Hawaii. Here is this week’s situation:
◆“Where can I learn hula?
ホテルのコンシェルジェ(英語ではconcierge – コンシアージュと発音）は、ホテルゲストの色々なリクエストに答えてくれます。わからないことがあったら気軽に聞いてみましょう。日本人コンシェルジェがいる所もあります。 Have a good trip
|Loco Girl’s Profile(ロコ・ガールのプロフィール）
Born in Hilo, I grew up going fishing with Dad, shopping with Mom, and trying to be a good “big sister” to a younger sister and brother. A Waiakea High School and the University of Hawaii at Manoa alumni, I taught English in Japan for two years on the JET Program, and am now employed at PacRim Marketing Group, Inc. I love doing a lot of things-shopping, reading, lettering, making jewelry & crafts, watching Friends-and that’s just the start of my list! I like being busy, and am active with the JET Alumni Association (JETAA) and the Honolulu Junior Japanese Chamber of Commerce (HJJCC.) My family and friends are, of course, very important to me, and are why I live a very typical, happy, local-style life in Hawaii and will never leave!