Sunday, March 8, 2009

Loss of a (teacher's) Dance Teacher

Maybe it's because the dance world is so small and communal, but whenever I hear news of a dancer (young or old) or a dance teacher passing away I feel that sense of loss, whether I knew them personally or not.

Tonight a ballet teacher from Tampa, FL, Anzia Arsenault, passed away. She was my ballet teacher's first teacher and a major influence on her. She was old and died of complications of pneumonia, apparently.

"She was the Artistic Director of The Tampa Ballet from 1964 to 1984, one of the first professional dance companies in the state. She founded the Dance Program at the University of Tampa which is now headed by one of her former students. She served on the Board of Directors of the State Dance Association of Florida and the Southeastern Regional Ballet Association."

I didn't know her myself, but I've heard stories of what she meant to my own teacher who mourns her loss.

For me it's another reminder of how eternally grateful I am for falling into the teaching hands of some extraordinary people in my ballet training life.

I've had many - MANY - a dance teacher I was afraid of, really couldn't stand, or was extremely ignored by. But the select few who have truly helped me grow as a dancer and person mean SO much to me, even if I don't say it enough. I've been lucky to work with a number of wonderful people, but there are two teachers who stand out to me from recent years - who have gone far beyond and helped me in more ways than they know.

And this one in particular...I would be devastated if I ever lost her.

RIP Anzia. K, so sorry for your loss.

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