As I write this article today in farewell, I realize how lucky I have been to have my dance family. I would not be where I am today without Dance Arts, my wonderful students, and the support of their parents along the way. I am incredibly humbled by my experience as a dance instructor and find it rather difficult to say goodbye without first thanking my community.
The time I have spent at Dance Arts has influenced my entire life. I began dancing at a young age, but never considered that dance could lead my career path. I worked as an office aide at the studio for several years throughout high school, but still did not realize how much of an impact Dance Arts would make on my future. When I was a senior in high school, Ms. Martha asked me to assist her in the classroom because she had a hip replacement and needed a demonstrator. I gladly accepted and there began my journey as a dance instructor.
I am thankful that I had the opportunity to train under Martha Madison and Char Allen during those first years of my teaching adventure. They allowed me to assist in their classes and continued to encourage and support me as I grew as a teacher. Ashleigh Keefer was also a very big part in my deciding to become a dance instructor because of the great influence she had on me during my junior and senior years of high school. I have learned an incredible amount of knowledge from these women and cannot thank them enough for sharing their passion for dance with me.
I have grown a lot as an instructor and as an adult during my time at Dance Arts. I owe much of my success to my students, who continued to motivate and inspire me over the past ten years. I cannot thank my dance family enough for the support system they provided me. I feel honored to have been able to influence the lives of my students, but even more honored to have been influenced by them myself.
Note from Ms. Martha: Ms. Kelsey has been a dance instructor at Dance Arts for the past ten years. She has also held the position as Performance Troupe director for the last five years and Dance Company director for the past two years. She is planning to move this June to Oregon with her husband and will be greatly missed by the Dance Arts community.