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Sunday, March 12, 2006

Mari Davies essay on Ballet

The Toledo Blade publishes an essay every Saturday by a member of their community, this weekends essay was by Mari Davies the development director for the Toledo Ballet. I've drawn out some of my favorite sections. It's a very nice personal statement, reminding me of This I Believe a series that Jay Allison hosts on NPR.
One look at a dance floor or one glance down a crowded street by anyone who is observant can recognize instantly someone with classical ballet training. Posture, poise, and power are the byproducts of good classical training.
One can see it in the likes of Sarah Jessica Parker, Condoleezza Rice, Morgan Freeman, Charlize Theron, and even Jean Claude Van Damme.
With that foundation, one can pursue the stage or corporate America, commanding a presence difficult to assume otherwise. Great life skills, don't you think?
For young people affixed to their iPods, an hour ballet class exposes them to music that might not otherwise cross their earphones, hugely expanding their cultural and musical repertoire.
But the key here is that it brings active physical engagement versus passive absorption. Not only does a dancer hear the music; the dancer literally gets to bring the music to life.
And for children who may not be terribly interested in organized sports presented as the typical gym class bill of fare, exercise may be seen as something foreign and contrived. They might be perfect candidates for ballet.

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