Sanelli works as a writer, speaker, and dance teacher. Her recent collection of essays, Among Friends: A Memoir (#1 in Non-Fiction, Barnes & Noble, a Goodreads notable book) and her latest book, A Woman Writing are in bookstores now. She has written for the Seattle Times, Seattle Metropolitan Magazine, and Weekend Edition, National Public Radio. She lives in Seattle.
Hardly anyone writes thank-you notes anymore. But sometimes it's just not OK to send a text, and there are two notes I've been meaning to mail the good old-fashioned way. I know most people say it doesn't matter anymore, but I don't think that's true. What's true is that it is easy to stop remembering what matters.
It's not like I believe there is nothing like the good old days, I don't. In too many ways they weren't. But each day I'm trying (vigorously!) to balance my embrace of change with the unwise choice of embracing too much of it, blindly. But I'm getting ahead of the story here. So let me back up.
I was 23 when I taught my first beginning adult dance class in a rickety room above Dollar's Garage on Water Street in Port Townsend, Washington. It was an effort to keep myself from moving too fast for beginning students, but I enjoyed the challenge. I chose music measured enough for students with less experience to enjoyably make their way through. Except, clearly, it was still too fast.
Since July is pretty much considered summer-intensive season all over the country, it would seem a little odd, maybe even a little disloyal, to write about something other than dance this month.
And not only because I dance. Dance studios provide something everyone wants: confidence. Underneath all the classes, costumes, and rehearsals, that's what a studio is, basically. A place to practice confidence.
Though for some of us, it's less of a place and more of a temple.
Whether it's recital time or competition season, students do not look at the world through the eyes of children. They look at the world through the eyes of performers, picturing themselves onstage with energy and abandon, just as skilled and confident as their supportive parents had hoped and known they could be. That's the best case scenario, anyway.