The Raison D’Être

I recently had a conversation with someone who asked me why I started Kaleidoscope Studio.  The simplest answer is that during the lockdown in March 2020, I needed a place to dance.  None of us knew how long this thing would last (though, my internal medieval historian knew that it would be significantly longer than the two-week window people had hoped for) so I had to do something.  Initially, we cleaned out one of the upstairs rooms.  I was able to work on choreography and I reached out to some of my dance friends to do online lessons.  These early measures were temporary, but as the weeks stretched into months, it was clear that I needed more than an empty spare room.

My husband and I agreed to convert the living room into a studio space and we installed a sprung floor and mounted a screen and camera to facilitate online lessons. By the fall of 2020, I had my first dancer taking private lessons twice per week.  In fall 2021, a second private student began and a third joined in March 2022. By September 2022, we started offering group classes and had grown to 9 families, with dancers ages ranging from 3 months to over 65 years old.

The pandemic changed the pace of life which gave me time to reflect on my path and what I wanted to do going forward.  I had time to think about dreams I’d had in college and the passions I had developed throughout my career in higher education.  It took about two years, but the idea has grown.  I realized that a dance studio would provide me with a context where I could integrate all of the things that mattered to me.  In one place, I could dance, teach, mentor, and create.  Over the past year, I have come to realize that research also has a place at Kaleidoscope Studio.  And as the pandemic has eased, I have connected with more people and I realized that the studio can also serve the community. The seed of our initial furniture rearrangement has grown into a sapling, which in time will become a mighty oak.

The immediate practical needs of the pandemic created a vision of what could be; not only for me, but for the dancers who join me.  With continued nurture and cultivation, the raison d’être for Kaleidoscope will continue to develop; not because the core will change, but rather because people learn and grow by doing. 

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