Teenagers showing us how it's done

Like many girls out there, my thirteen-year-old daughter has always had dance lessons. Over the years she has experienced a few different dance studios; some of them seemed good, while others seemed like their only objective was to suck more money out of my wallet. Last year she asked if she could switch to a dance school called called Zion Studios. Although logistically this was going to be trickier for her mother and me as it’s located on the other side of town, she put her cute face on and convinced us that this would be ‘best for her dancing development’.

Due to the small studio size at Zion, parents are discouraged from attending every lesson to watch, so the first real opportunity for me to see whether the change in dance schools had been worthwhile was at the end-of-term performance. My daughter’s support crew consisting of her family and friends arrived at the performance hall to an atmosphere of chaos. There were teenagers running around uncontrollably, too many people in the waiting area meaning we had to wait outside, and opening time had already been delayed. I was starting to think that this could be a long night, but at least Zion was only charging five dollars for this pleasurable experience. 

Twenty minutes after the scheduled start time the doors opened and there was a rush to get a good seat. My expectations were dropping by the minute and I was already looking at my watch concerned about how long this might take. Finally everyone was seated and the lights dropped. My previous experiences with dance recitals had given me the following impressions: the young kids are cute; it’s great to see your own kid perform; after that I just want to get home. But when a young, baggy clothes-wearing, street-sounding kid hit the stage, I knew I was in for something different, that magic was about to start.

The next two hours flew by. This performance, arranged by a group of young people, had everything: energy, excitement, fun, and emotional expression. There was a huge feeling of support from everyone in the room, and there was even a dance-off between two parents (the skinny white guy had no chance)! Sure, there were some organizational aspects that Zion could work on, but it was amazing to see a bunch of young kids putting together a night of entertainment that promoted all the good things about dance movement and inspired all the kids involved. So this week I just wanted to say: Well done, Zion. You guys are showing us a way to create a love for movement in our younger generation. Keep it up!

Bevan Eyles