The first time I walked into a dance studio I did not know how to place my feet in first position. I felt as though I was a laughingstock. Only no one laughed. The dance world grants a quiet dignity to a dancer who is new but not young. I came to this powerful art form at an age when most professional ballerinas have long retired. Imagine being fifty and doing something brand new and so physically demanding. But I stuck with it and once I got into it, I could not stop and looked for every opportunity to train.
Even as a new dancer I knew I had to dance often to see incremental improvements. It takes years to develop the fine muscles, strength and grace needed to do ballet. As for the artistry inherent in dance—that can take a lifetime. Dance taught me many things beyond moving across a floor, about my life, my business, branding, and about all of those things I am passionate about, especially writing—that is what led me to write a book called STEPS.
At home in Seattle, I took at least four ballet classes a week. At my other home on the Oregon coast, there are no suitable ballet classes, so I created my own strict Pilates routine in conjunction with Zumba. I found dance classes wherever I traveled: New York, Boston, Denver. Everywhere I go, I keep moving.
Dance studios shut when the pandemic hit. After years of training it is terrifying to just stop dancing. The dance community is small and news travels fast. I learned about ballet classes streaming on Facebook. This is what led me to find Robert Dekkers, who is the artistic director of both the Berkeley Ballet Theater and the dance company Post:Ballet. I was so inspired by Robert Dekker’s live streaming classes via Facebook that the only way I know how to express my gratitude is by writing about him. My article Robert Dekkers | Dance Moves On presents a new way of looking at dance in the digital age.
This month, our library profile is a rerun of the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, which had been previously published in February 2020. Since this library archives great works of choreography, we think it is a good complement to our article about Robert Dekkers.
Stay safe and take care! –Patricia Vaccarino