Rosie Williams was born fidgeting. She came out of her mom backwards, and wriggling. This was only a sign of things to come, for Rosie would never be able to sit still for more than two minutes. Her kindergarten teacher complained that she would disrupt the other kids during naptime by jumping loudly about the room. When asked, Rosie said that she was “dancing.” Where some parents might have viewed this as a problem, Rosie’s Mom viewed it as an opportunity.
She signed Rosie up for ballet classes. Unfortunately, Rosie was dismissed after only two sessions for “bad behavior.”
“Rosie lacks discipline,” the instructor said, “and she insists on stomping around like an elephant.” Again, Rosie’s Mom chose to see the situation as a positive. She transferred Rosie to the tap dancing class.
In Tap Dancing, Rosie’s elephant-like stomping worked in her favor. Unfortunately, her teacher agreed that she lacked “discipline.” This time Rosie’s Mom was at a loss.
“Rosie, you’re going to have to learn to listen to directions,” her mom said.
“I’m sorry, mom,” Rosie said, “I tried, but Ballet and Tap have too many rules. I want to feel free when I dance.” Her Mom listened and shook her head. She spent the night researching other dance possibilities. She soon discovered Modern Dance, a loose style that blossomed out of the strict confines of ballet. A video made it look more like Tai Chi than “Plie!” Performers transferred the flow of energy from one part of their body to another. Rosie’s Mom went to sit in on a class. She watched as the kids had an opportunity to make up their own moves while being shown possible options, and techniques. This allowed the students to go looking for instruction rather than having it forced on them. Rosie’s Mom enrolled Rosie right on the spot.
The next week, Rosie attended her first class, and never looked back. The relaxed atmosphere taught her that learning could be fun. After that, paying attention became easier. Soon Rosie wanted to learn as much about various dance styles as possible. She returned to Ballet and Tap, and discovered Salsa, and Modern Indian Dance. She earned a graduate degree in dance choreography. Rosie’s unique style was soon in high demand, and it wasn’t long before Broadway called.
It just goes to show that it doesn’t always pay to sit still.
Written by Alex Schattner (8/14/12)
Moving Image by: Jillian Bisinger