What is it like to dance at BSD

BRATTLEBORO — My story at Brattleboro School of Dance (BSD) is short, but in many ways, it feels like a lifetime. I enrolled in my first ballet class at twelve years old. I had always admired dance; it was something about each person's individual grace that made me want to dance. I wanted my grace, my movement, my facial expressions, to be just as beautiful as the dancers I admired as a child.

Dance gave me the kind of attitude to keep going. Whether it was a triple pirouette, or three research papers, I would never stop. The persistence that I learned from my dance instructors is one of the main contributors to my academic success. In dance, you learn to keep trying, to never give up, I applied this same attitude to my studies, and this June I will graduate high school with honors. Dance taught me responsibility. I learned that as a dancer there are always other people relying on me, whether it is a choreographer or my peers. When I got my first job at seventeen I already knew the etiquette of being early, staying late, and working as a team; something my boss greatly appreciated. They often commented on the dedication and hard work of someone so young and being in their first job. I knew from my time at BSD the importance of doing your best — and I brought this to work with me every day.

But aside from the life skills that dance gave me I also made lifelong friends. Preparing for a show, you spend every waking moment together and you grow close. One of my best friends was someone I met at BSD, we were often partnered, and danced in the same pieces so we got to know each other well. Though he has gone on to pursue other dreams I keep in contact with him, and I'm so happy we met. I've made other friends who still dance. I think the best part is that they make me laugh. They are the kind of friends that if you just make eye contact they make you burst in to a fit of laughter that ends with you having the hiccups for an hour.

My time at BSD was short, but for six years I have dedicated more time and energy into dance than I did anything else. It was hard work and long, sometimes painful hours; but I wouldn't trade anything for the life skills and friendships I gained at BSD. My only regret is that I did not start dancing sooner!

NOTE: Selena Wetherby is a senior at Brattleboro Union High School completing her senior year on Campus at Community College of Vermont. She will be dancing in "Earth Dances" at New England Youth Theater May 19, 20 and 21.


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