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Treasures: Simple Gifts

It is that time of the season when the academic school year is ending. For me, this usually means concerts, showings, "informances", and generally saying goodbye to many of my students for the summer. Sometimes I will receive a gift from a student or a class. Even though, since moving to New York City I had to downsize, I still hold on to these mementos. For example, every morning when I look into the bathroom mirror I am reminded of my student Ariana. She made me a charm with 2 small colored beads, the face of a cat, and a beautiful form of a dancer in arabesque. The charm hangs from my medicine cabinet. To this day I stay in touch with her Mother, and I am happy to say Ariana has become an accomplished visual artist. I also have a snapshot of 3 young dancers in a simple silver frame. These dancers were the first group of dancers I taught at a private studio Academy of Dance Arts in Lenior City, TN. The picture is somewhat blurry, but if you flip it over there is a funny and touching poem written to me. When I am struggling with my complex life as a dance artist and educator, I read the poem and it reminds me why I do what I do. My most recent gift was from the youngest members of the Page Turners After School Program that is part of Rauschenbush Metro Ministries and ran out of Metro Baptist Church. It has been a joy to share my love of dance with these young dancers. In appreciation for me teaching them dance they made me this mug with their names written on it. Yet another simple gift that is priceless to me.

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