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Handy !

1 Jill Handy Ed Austin Dance 261 11 December 2013 My Dance Philosophy Dance is many things to many people and it seems impossible to put a clear definition on it. It is so personal that it means different things to different people. It is a process of selfdiscovering. To me, dance is movement that inspires and connects with the dancer, with the audience, and with our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. Dance is an expressive motion that has to be found from within and then can be shared with others and the experience is unforgettable. I started dancing when I was three years old. My mother was a dancer and taught dance at a local studio in our small town in California. At age 9, I started dancing seriously in ballet and began working towards point shoes. I remember the day I got my point shoes and that first point class every little ballerina dreams of. I was 12 and a half when I started and that first year on point was hard. I struggled on point for a long time and I didnt feel like I was making any improvement. I was slow in developing my point skills while the other girls were getting stronger and stronger. I got discouraged and felt inadequate. I didnt enjoy going to dance anymore and I put myself down the whole time I was in class. But my mother pushed me to keep working at it and to not give up. Half way through my second year I was finally getting stronger and I felt more comfortable with the steps that I had been working on for almost two years. I gained more and more confidence as I saw my movements getting stronger. I believed in myself again and I truly started to love dance at the age of 14. The first lesson I learned about dance was

Handy !2 to never give up. It was hard and rough and painful sometimes but the lesson of what hard work really means was worth it. At age 14 I also started taking modern dance class. I really found a love for the creative and unique style of modern. It was different and expressive. Much different from ballet. I suddenly had to do more with my body and face than just pose and smile. I had to be emotional or angry or upset. I loves exploring the different feelings I could show in my dancing. When I was 15-years-old I picked up a jazz class along with my ballet and modern. Once again this style was completely different from what I had previously done. I found a love for jazz and the happy, sassy side that it brought out of me. How could my dance experience be any more complete. The next year I discovered the strong, gruff style of hip hop and I realized that my dance experiences would never be complete. Theres always something new out there to discover. This was second lesson I learned about danceit is forever evolving with the times and the people and ones knowledge of dance is never complete. I also learned that different styles bring out different emotions and feelings and to connect with those styles you have to find that emotion within yourself and bring it out to connect with the audience. My senior year of high school I completed a research paper on dance therapy for children with Down Syndrome and the benefits it has for them. I carried out this study by creating an adaptive dance program for these disabled children. The results were incredible. The parents who brought their children to the class were already noticing a difference in just a period of four weeks. I learned once again other anther lesson about dance. Dance is for everyone. It is not just for the naturally talented ballerinas or the technically supreme modern dancer. Dance is for all people, young and old, tall and short, imperfect and disabled. It is for anyone with a body.

Handy !3 Dance can be can displayed in different ways. It can be displayed as an artistic presentation like a choreographed group dance. Dance can be a social activity like at school or church function dances. Dance can also be therapeutic for mentally and physically disabled people. Dance can also just be a fun activity to get your mind of the business of life and in addition a great form of exercise. When I would do my chores every Saturday I would put my music on and dance around while I worked. Just for fun to keep my body moving. Its great exercise and its self-gratifing to just move your body to the rhythm of your favorite song. Even now, at Brigham Young University, I have learned many things about dance and what I can contribute to it. I have learned that dance is an expression of your spirit. There is a spirituality to dance that I had never discovered before. Our bodies are truly a beautiful creation and a great blessing from our Savior, Jesus Christ. The best way to express our gratitude for our bodies is through dance. When I dance for Christ and Heavenly Father I feel closer to them. I am connected with my mind, spirit and body. I am connected with my Father. This discovery confirmed my decision to major in Dance Education. I want to share this feeling with others. Since I never had dance classes at my school and only at the studio, I know what a loss it is to those who dont have the opportunity or means to attend a studio. I want to bring the artistic and social aspect of dance to the public schools so everyone can have a chance to express themselves and use their bodies in a healthy way. Like I said, dance is for everyone and it should be accessibly to everyone. I want to nourish and develop the naturally creative mind that all people have. I want to show people that dance is not just an elitist activity but can be for everyone. There are many reason why I dance. When I dance I feel at one with myself. I can just let go of all my worries and my stresses and express my soul. I can get in touch with my spirituality,

Handy !4 reach the heavens and communicate with my Heavenly Father with my movement. I can share my love and talent for dance with others and inspire them to chase their dreams. I would always be inspired by watching other incredible dancers perform and walk away wanting to improve and become the best I can be. I hope I can, if not already, be an inspiration to other young dancers. Maybe even inspire someone who has never danced before to pick up a class as simple as social dance. I believe that is why I dance to inspire others just as dance has inspired me. My dance teacher told us once I dance, not because people are perfect, but because people are people. Nobody is perfect, not even dancers. That is what inspires me to be a dancer. You dont have to have perfect technique or the perfect dance body to be a dancer. You just have to be you, with all your imperfections, and express it through movement for yourself, for others, and most importantly, for our Father in Heaven and Savior.