My dance journey began at the tender age of five. My mother enrolled me into The Marsha Woody Dance Academy, in Beaumont, Texas. For seven years, I trained in Ballet, Tap, and Jazz. Although I liked to dance at home, I didn't love the rigid structure of the studio, or the grueling hours required to become a dancer. I was a chunky, thick, brown girl, who would much rather play sports with the boys on the playground. My mother insisted I continue dancing. She said I needed a "foundation." She also said, "You'll thank me later." Reluctantly, I continued, and eventually grew into my body, gained confidence and developed a photographic memory, thanks to the massive amount of choreography I was required to remember.
Interesting, that currently there is an article floating around on Facebook entitled "Ballet is [not] the foundation of dance." I agree. Ballet is not the most important style to train in, BUT what ballet gave me was confidence, in addition to great extensions and flexibility, which I am thankful for today. As a young dancer, I took weekly ballet classes, with girls who did not look like me, speak like me, whose hair type and body structure certainly wasn't a reflection of mine. Despite the challenges, I hung in there with the best of them and excelled! I KNEW I was just as talented as the next ballerina on the barre.
YOU are the foundation of dance. Your SPIRIT is your base. YOU are the technique. Cross train and learn other genres of dance. It's amazing how they will all "fit" into your body and shine when necessary