Just because she’s pushing 82, doesn’t mean that Pearl has to give up dancing. On the contrary, learning Salsa has been plenty of fun. So every Thursday evening, Pearl struts over to the dance studio to listen to the music and move to the groove. The group starts with practice steps and then learns to build them like puzzle pieces set to music. Body movement and partner interaction is part of the creative process that distinguishes individual style. A wink, a swing, a twist. Dance is the imaginative work of the mind and body in unison; a purposeful interpretation to music.
What happens when dancers meet life hurdles? How do they find creative solutions to continue their life passion?
Jodi Stolove was a dancer and teacher who had broken her ankle. Not willing to be immobile and abandon her students, she taught classes from her chair. And that became a successful business called Chair Dancing ® (http://www.chairdancing.com) which is non impact aerobics from a seated position. Jodi says, “These medically sound programs are a new fitness option for active people or those whose physical condition, restricted mobility or age limit their participation in conventional forms of exercise”. She sells home videos for instruction and you can always improvise.
The dancer, Kitty Lunn, had a very big hurdle to overcome. Her love of dance started at the age of eight. But while preparing for her first Broadway show in 1987, Kitty Lunn slipped on ice, fell down a flight of stairs and broke her back. Paraplegic and depressed, she could not imagine dancing again when she could not walk. But she also could not give up her love of dancing because ”the dancer inside me didn't know or care that I was using a wheelchair, she just wanted to keep dancing.” In the fall of 1995, Kitty founded Infinity Dance Theater, http://www.infinitydance.com , a non-traditional dance company featuring dancers with and without disabilities and performs all over the world. In addition to dance concerts, the Company is dedicated to educational programs by “teaching other dance educators to bring the joy and drama of motion and movement to a new level of inclusion by expanding the boundaries of dance and changing the world's perception of what a dancer is.” Kitty continues to take a “mainstream, professional ballet class every day and has developed wheelchair dance techniques strongly rooted in and growing out of classical ballet and modern dance.”
There are many challenges in life but few as great as finding creative solutions to build our lives with passion and dignity.
“Great dancers are not great because of their technique, they are great because of their passion.”