By Vicki Parsons, Butler Center for Dance & Fitness Director
I knew at a very young age that I loved to move my body. Whether it was playing tag with the neighborhood kiddos, hiking, swimming, or one of many sports, I loved it! And while dance lessons were not on the list, I can tell you that when the music played, I could not be still.
I fondly remember the dance craze of the 60’s: The Twist, the Mashed Potato, the Loco-motion. And if you grew up in the 70’s you probably grooved to the Funky Chicken and YMCA. Every generation has their dance – dance has always been, and will always be.
America’s Dance Craze
America’s fascination with dance exploded with the popularity of So You Think You Can Dance and Dancing with the Stars. Last summer, ballerina Misty Copeland’s breathtaking Under Armour ad brought ballet into our living rooms.
Dance can be seen on billboards, in TV commercials, and sells everything from Mountain Dew to cell phone service. The rising interest in dance as an alternative form of exercise has positively impacted the fitness industry.
Why Do YOU Dance?
People love to dance. But why? I decided to play roving reporter at Ballet Austin’s Butler Dance Education Center this past week and investigate. I didn’t have to rove far since we bring dance to adults of all ages and ability levels 7 days a week. I walked from studio to studio asking people, “Why do you dance?” I asked professional company dancers, dance instructors, people sitting in the lobby, children in our kid’s camp… I even asked the barista at Starbucks and took to Twitter to hear what people had to say!
“Dance is one of the things that brings me the most joy!”
– Tara Alperin, Butler Center Instructor
“Dance has always moved me.” – Company dancer Orlando Canova
“I dance to chase the crazies away.”
– John, Starbucks Barista
“I dance to work out. It’s a fun and positive way to exercise. I have lost 18 lbs. dancing!”
– Laura, Butler Center Member
“Nadanam, manidhanaaga pirandha ovvoruvanum alli alli paruga vendiya amurdhamada adhu!”
– Prakash Mohandas, Butler Center Bollywood Instructor
“I dance because it’s like physical journaling; a way to speak when I don’t have the words. Sometimes it’s happy, sometimes it’s sad, but I always get that amazing feeling of release once I’ve done it.”
– Boo Ruis, Butler Center Instructor
“Yo bailo, porque el baile es vida, es una expresión de creatividad, es arte en movimiento, es mi libertad”
– Janet Alvarado, Butler Center Customer Relations
“We celebrate Dance, revel in the universality of this art form. Dance crosses all political, cultural and ethnic barriers and brings people together with a common language – Dance.”
– World Organization for the Performing Arts
“I dance because I don’t really have a choice…when I hear good music, my body just reacts to it with movement. It’s the best feeling.”
– Hannah Brightwell, Butler Center Instructor
Now tell us why you dance at @BalletAustinCTR !