They are the representation of achievement. The trophies of success that are held aloft as loved ones snap the latest picture to send to social media. What happens the next day, when the crowds are gone and the costumes have been hung back up? For the dancers of Dance Works Unlimited Studio in Lancaster, SC, the next class begins.
Miss Wendy holds a tight rein on the petites as they line up for the first number. Full of energy, these young dances can hardly stay in one place. It seems like a room full of kittens till that first note of the music starts, and their hands and feet snap into their places. The dance grabs their complete focus.
In practiced and re-practiced procession of dance moves, they turn and leap, and sway all in time with the music. For the outsider, it all seems to be just moving here and there, but the dancers reassure me it is not.
P.J. talked about how dance is telling a story and he uses the movements as a language to convey the story. “I like being able to tell that story with my dancing.” He said. P.J. is the sole male dancer in the studio of girls. He follows in a tradition at Dance Works Unlimited. Males have been a regular part of the classes and competitions. He interacts with them like he was in a room full of his sisters.
That feeling of family is ever present. When one moves, all move, and when one succeeds, all succeed. You see the helping hands and support from the older students as they pass on tips and lessons. Training is for the group, and so is the support.
Parents wait patiently in the front foyer, having to share the room with a huge table of trophies. They are sacrificing their time for their young one to find success.
I have had the opportunity to write about this studio in the past, and have attended the year end recitals for many years. To watch the dancers in the parades is magical. I interviewed the dancers for this piece, and some of those responses are in this video.
One dancer commented that ballet is all the time on your toes and such, but lyrical is storytelling, and she likes that style best. It would be easy to say that Dance Works Unlimited has won lots of awards and see the smiling pictures of them holding the trophies, yet I think that misses the more important elements of what makes this studio great. Heart, Friendship, Fun, Growth, and Love are the foundations of this studio.