Thursday, November 19, 2009

Grandparents' Day at Dance Class

Virginia Tanner Creative Dance Program
"The motivating force behind my work is not only developing excellent dancers, but more importantly, developing young people who are useful, imaginative, worthwhile human beings."
---Virginia Tanner---

(Watch the girl with a blond ponytail in the black skirt and top.  She's so graceful!)

I have always loved watching dancers, amazed at their coordination and ability to manipulate their bodies in beautiful, creative ways.  My admiration stems from my own inability.  Born with two left feet and absolutely no rhythm, dancing is something I've never been able to master. 

When I was five, my mother put me in a tap dance class.  I loved the noise my shoes made on hard wood or tile floors.  Most of all, I remember our recital when my class danced on stage to "On the Good Ship Lollipop".  I remember the pink and white checked dress with the short, full skirt.  My mother put my hair in ringlets and wear rouge and lipstick.  I felt like Shirley Temple (though I didn't dance like her).  Shuffle-Ball-Change-Shuffle-Ball-Change.  That's all I remember. It was my one and only attempt at dancing.

As a child, I had two good friends who took "Creative Dance" from Virginia Tanner.  I went to several of their classes and all of their recitals.  Jealous of their talent, I was more envious of their opportunity to go to Virginia Tanner's.  It looked like so much fun.

Virginia Tanner (1915 - 1979) was a pioneer in the world of children's dance. Her philosophy is the foundation of the Virginia Tanner Creative Dance Program. Classes take a holistic approach to teaching and learning, respecting each dancers' individual development level and needs. The studio is a sanctuary for children, a place where they can step into an environment which nurtures positive growth and development.

Creative dance classes focus on the development of the whole child. Through movement exploration, dancers reach progressive levels of physical skill development and are taught the vocabulary of dance.

Exploring the creativity and imagination of childhood, dancers have the opportunity to improvise, engage in creative problem solving and grow in cognitive, social and emotional ways as they interact in class. In the Virginia Tanner Creative Dance Program, each class has a musical accompanist to expose dancers to a variety of musical genres. Throughout the class, dancers will have the opportunity to incorporate art and art forms into their learning.

More than 850 dancers participate in classes held at the University of Utah studio and satellite locations: Ogden, Bountiful, Park City and Sandy. Through the creative processes of dance, arts integration, and a commitment to excellence, the environment of every class explores and unveils each individual's potential.

Yesterday was Grandparents' Day at Virginia Tanner's Creative Dance. I acted as a surrogate grandmother for my grand-niece, Sydney, whose real grandmother is in Perth, Australia on a mission for the L.D.S. church.  I couldn't have been more proud of Sydney if she was my own grandchild.  Thanks, Syd, for sharing the gifr and spirit of dance with me!


Pat said...

There is something so sweet about little girls dancing. Sadly although ng small and delicate I danced like a clodhopper - such a bore:)

Maithri said...


May the dancing spirit of love be yours,