Today’s AMA blog post is provided by Annie Schrieffer, one of AMA Dance & Music School’s adult students and a recent Dance Student of the Month! Here is Annie’s story… (Scroll down and check out the video of Annie too!)
When I was first asked to write this week’s blog, I was really excited because I wanted to let people know that dance is for EVERYONE, no matter your gender, level or age. I want to share through my story how great taking classes at AMA as an adult really is.
Here is how it began…
It was in early 2005 that my good friend and co-worker of many years, Ann Marie (DePaepe) Frank, was finally achieving her life-long dream of opening a dance studio. At that same time, age was creeping up on me and I realized more than ever that exercise needed to become a priority in my life.
I knew I didn’t want to spend time in the gym so I figured why not go back to dance since my friend was opening her own studio? I was nearing 40, and had taken dance lessons for 10 years as a child/teen and I missed it. I hoped that knowing the owner would help ease my fear of returning to dance class, something I had not done in over 20 years!
When registration opened, I signed up for the adult classes (ballet, tap and jazz) and was very excited about going back to dance and getting some exercise! I attended my first class and was very impressed with all the hard work Ann Marie had put into the studio and how comfortable she made me feel when I arrived. I attended my classes and to my surprise dance came back to me like riding a bike. Of course, the technique wasn’t perfect and my flexibility wasn’t as great as it was when I was 16-years-old, but I was having fun and it felt GREAT to get back into the swing of things.
After that first week, my instructors noticed that I was not being challenged in my adult ballet and tap classes and inquired as to whether I’d be interested in trying out the advanced classes. (At that time, there were only 2 instructors – my friend, the owner and a 2nd instructor – and I had classes with both.) Well, talk about being nervous! It was nerve racking enough just to go back and now I was being asked if I wanted to dance with kids who were less than half my age and in a lot better shape than I was. I decided to give it a shot.
I began taking the advanced ballet and tap classes and will admit I was a little intimidated by the girls I was dancing with. Remember, I was twice their age and hadn’t danced in over 20 years. After the first couple weeks, I found being in classes with middle school and high school kids wasn’t that bad. They didn’t treat me any different because of my age. We all loved to dance and that seemed to be what was most important. I then decided, what the heck! and signed up for advanced lyrical. The year went on and I was having a blast.
Next up, recital. I hadn’t performed in what seemed like forever but remembered that performing was what I loved the most about dance. So when asked if I was going to dance in the recital, I wanted to do it. I put my fears aside and did it.
The response was overwhelming! My friends and family (who have always been supportive and still are to this day) loved seeing me do my thing. A great team camaraderie had formed between the girls I danced with and myself.
And from there it’s history. It has been an AMAzing ride. From taking classes with some really great dancers, to learning from some extraordinarily talented instructors, to joining and performing with AMA Dance Force, AMA is, and always will be, my new home for dance. Dancing at AMA is not only about going to class and doing shows, it’s about making new friendships, trying new things, putting yourself out there, and, most importantly, doing the best you can do.
At AMA Dance & Music School, you are not treated differently because of your age. You are treated in the highest regard as a student who wants to learn. You are placed in a class based on your ability. You are encouraged to do the best you can do and not worry about the dancer to the left or right of you. It’s a great experience and one that more adults would take advantage of!
Not one, but TWO videos! Enjoy!
Are you a former dance student that would like to revisit the joy you experienced when taking lessons as a youth? Are you an adult who never took lessons, but always dreamed of learning how to dance? We want you to contact us to learn more about our dance classes and positive learning environment! Call us today at 847-299-2233!