My friend Elisabeth dances for joy. She also dances for a living and has jetéd herself into an elite group of people who have made their passion their profession.
Elisabeth dances for Li Chiao-Ping Dance and the Catey Ott Dance Collective, and also works as a teacher/choreographer for the Valley Academy for the Arts.
On Saturday, she will dance a solo and a duet for DanceLAB: Get It Out There at Danceworks in Milwaukee. The show starts at 6 p.m. if you’re able to attend. I highly recommend.
Elisabeth moves weightlessly, like swirling fall leaf, and she dances with the kind of passion that zings your heart.
A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to take a dance class taught by Elisabeth and, though my last formal dance training came courtesy of the Green Bay Park and Rec Department in 1968, I thought it would be fun.
Of course, I was delusional. I knew it when I peaked in the classroom window and spotted my classmates, trained dancers all, warming up.
I am a kitchen dancer, flexible as a wooden broom. My dance lexicon comes courtesy of Debbie Allen. “You got big dreams? You want Fame? Well, Fame costs. And right here is where you start paying. In sweat.”
Sweat I can do. I’m actually a very good sweater.
I stepped into the room. I did not excel.
The trick, for you fellow kitchen dancers considering a formal class, is to not look at yourself in that horrifyingly ubiquitous dance room mirror. Don’t look. Don’t think. Hold your head high. Laugh, if you can spare the breath.
That’s what I did, anyway, and look! It only took two months for me to recover enough dignity to write about it.
I am a huge fan of people brave enough to carve out an unconventional career based on their passion and unique abilities. I admire Elisabeth and her graceful pursuit.
And, I’m grateful for the opportunity to stretch myself in the company of talented dancers, led by a smiley, graceful young woman I’ve known since she was a kid.
Bravo, Elisabeth! I can’t wait to see what the future holds for you.