A Tribute to The Dance Collective

What Makes a Place Valuable?

A Tribute to The Dance Collective

I have been dancing at The Dance Collective ever since my discovery of it years ago. Why do I come back every year? Why is this studio inspirational to me? The answer lies in the values of this humble studio.

Dance is an artform that has been providing opportunities for expression since dawn of the human race. It is a natural movement that can create beauty or communicate ideas. Dance encompasses qualities of musicality, beauty and passion. It takes a lot to be a good dancer. It takes hard work, dedication, pain, but most importantly a love for the movement. I would argue it takes even more to be a good studio being the place to foster the development of the complex thing we call dance. It takes a few undeniable values to create a meaningful environment for growth. Though simplistic in principle, and few in number, these core values make or a break a studio, and the slightest ignorance completely takes away the virtue of a place. These values are so rarely prioritized, and so often replace by trivial motivations, their heightened presence in any place including The Dance Collective should be acknowledged.

What are these values that make an inspirational dance studio? In the true honesty of anything pure perhaps they cannot be summarized in mere single words. They are perhaps defined more abstractly. For example, just the other day, Ally, the owner and a teacher at the studio, had the class groups write down anonymous compliments for every person. When someone falls down, everyone automatically applauds as a habit prescribed since coming to the studio. When someone is successful, other people smile and have genuine feelings of awe and pride. When someone gets hurt, we as a studio send love their way. But in addition to the positivity the studio has no absence of rigor. We are worked hard and we grow both as people and as dancers. We are surrounded constantly by amazing opportunities that can make anyone’s dream of being a professional dancer possible. While being a good studio for dance is acknowledged, being a good family for dance is unassailable. And that is what The Dance Collective is; a true family for dance. 

The Dance Collective is inspirational to me. I feel lucky to be a dancer here. I feel like I have always been supported and always welcomed. It was enough that I felt it important to me to share that inspiration. So although it is challenging to put all that makes this a remarkable studio the feat that it is into a short writing composition, I hope to leave in this piece a mere fraction of what it means to me.

With gratitude, respect and admiration,

Eloise Hampton

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