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A Letter from ATTD Alumnus, Stasi!

Why this letter was so difficult to write is a mystery to me. I must have started at least 20 times, delaying submission for months with a cheerful “almost done!” or “just putting on the finishing touches!” It is certainly not difficult to write about the incredible dance instruction I’ve received over the past five years. Under the gentle, nurturing care of ATTD I became a more skilled and artistic dancer than I could have ever imagined. I have gained an astonishing level of bodily awareness, and direction on how to keep my body healthy not just as a dancer, but just as a person going through life. Every step of the process centered on being the best dancer I could be, within the limitations of my own body, and without ever having to push to the point of injury. I have been taught by world-class instructors and professionals in both the realm of dance as well as dance science and kinesiology. This is certainly not a challenge to write about. Nor is it a challenge to write about the wonderful people I have met and have grown with. I have built friendships I anticipate will be lifelong, met some people I am thoroughly convinced are secretly guardian angels, and been thoroughly loved and supported through the entire process. I have been both mentored by those wonderful dancers before me, and have in turn mentored those who came after. I learned how to lead, both by example and through experience. Talking about the spiritual journey I have undergone through dance, that is a bit more difficult. My whole life has been a journey to love and accept myself as a child of God and bless others with the gifts he has given me. Yet even that is not so difficult to put into words. Perhaps this letter was so challenging to write simply because there is too much to say. Several times I have tried to start writing, yet each time I find I have no idea where to even begin. I first met Ms. Jeri as a six-year old, aimlessly twirling around in her worship dance class. Since then she, Ms. Holly, Ms. Anna and all of the wonderful faculty and students have impacted my life in more ways than I can tell. At ATTD, I was coached in every way, both through the difficult journey of dancing en pointe, to working past the roadblock of my own self-criticism. I have been pushed to greater achievements than I ever would have imagined, while being gently nurtured and guided. At ATTD, I have had incredible teachers, leaders, mentors, and friends. I do not know where I will go with dance, or even if I will keep dancing (I am currently studying aerospace engineering, and while amazingly fun and rewarding, it is not kind to time-intensive hobbies). However, just as I cannot imagine having grown up without dance, I cannot imagine my life, or where I would be without ATTD. Though I could write more, I have read the letters from other alumni and realize I could not say it any better. All I can say now is thank you so much for all you have taught me, and for making the studio a second home.

Blessings,

Anastasia

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