If there was ever a teacher in my academic career who ever really understood anything about me, it was my grade 13 dance teacher. (Yes, I took dance, and yes I went all the way to grade 13!) She was a compassionate woman who got into teaching for all the right reasons. She was honest, understanding and empathetic to the reality and pains of high school life. Her ability to relate to students on a personal level while maintaining a strong teacher-student relationship was a rare commodity. I can recall a time when she hid a friend of mine and me in the back of her classroom because we arrived to school a few kilometers shy of sober. She was very vocal about her disappointment in us as well as her displeasure in our actions; however, she never reported us to the principal or to our parents. More importantly, she never once judged us.
Ms. O knew I had no aspirations to pursue anything further in dance. Uncoordinated from the get go, she didn’t push me to be anything that I wasn’t or do anything that I couldn’t. She only asked one thing of me – to always perform from my heart. And I always did. I remember one of the things that she said to me after watching my final performance piece for the class. “It wasn’t so much about dancing as it was about movement and emotion.” I got an eleven out of ten on that performance. It is the only grade that I can remember throughout my entire twenty year academic career.
One More Time, by Michael Bolton, is a song that puts a smile on my face every time I hear it. I am brought back to the final dance performance of my grade thirteen year. Ms. O cued this up for a very talented dancer in the class (who now has his own dance studio) and gave him the stage. He had the passion, emotion and the talent to bring the entire the auditorium together for just one song. It was greatness!
What ever you do, do it with passion. That is where talent is born.
One More Time youtube link