I have turned the post over and over in my mind, thinking about the different ways it could go. Five family members, five friends, five celebrities, and even at one point changed it to five pictures that meant a lot. But then I thought about throughout my life, who are five people that have made a big impact.
1. Mrs Westy – I feel like it goes without saying, that Mrs Westy has changed a lot of peoples lives. As the founder of the Music Room, school of performing arts, she has provided a place for kids of all ages to gather and learn about the arts. For Show Biz Kids, my first show was when I had just turned 5 years old. I was a crocodile in Peter Pan. I can honestly still remember the choreography (never smile at a croc-o-dile). I stayed with the Music Room until I graduated high school. Some shows I had leading rolls, some shows I was happy swaying in the chorus. I also started taking dance lessons sporadically througout elementary school. A tap class here, ballet class here. My favorite part of SBK was the warm up dance section at the beginning of the class. The days we had to skip it because we had a lot of blocking to do, I’d sigh and roll my eyes and stomp to sit against the mirror in a huff. Its funny I didn’t realize then I should be focusing all my efforts on taknig more dance classes! A group of us SKBers who showed some talent in dance started taking more classes together and started up the Music Rooms first Dance competition group. I seriously was with those girls every day after school for hours and hours taking jazz in one room, switching over to ballet then the next day taking tap then the next day doing company and on the weekends going to competitions. I learned quickly how my little studio was vastly different from the massive competition studios whose students walked around like a little army of tight hair buns, glitter eyeshadow and sticks up their butt. I was happy in my 101 Dalmatians costume. My moment came when the teachers told my mom I had real talent and should be moved up to take classes with the higher level older kids. Me! a 7th grader dancing next to the really cool seniors in high school. I was tall enough, but that was about it. But doing this gave me confidence in my talent, and brought me out of being so shy and passive. If it werent for all of this I would have never auditioned, and made it into Commercial Dance at OCHSA. But other than all this….Mrs Westy was always there for us. She provided a place where we could go after school, explore our talents, make some of the best friends we could ever hope for who are still are best friends today. And all the kids that went through the Music Room, I would say are well rounded, really good people. They are family. Its very difficult for me to express in words what Mrs Westy and the Music Room has done for me in my life. I guess one word would be, everything.
2. Cindy Peca – Cindy is one of the directors of Commercial Dance at OCHSA. Its hard to pick out one teacher there that had an impact on me, but there was something about Cindy that not only made me a better dancer but a better person. She had a way of explaining how you could make your leaps higher by going into a speech on how symbollically you could sore from your center if you lifted your chest and stretched your neck and plied a little bit more before the take off. Its been years so I obvouisly can’t recite word for word on how she put it, but she turned every move you made into something important and meaningful. Its obvious dance is her passion, and she made it yours too. She was one of those people you could go to if you were having a bad day, cry on her shoulder and leave feeling like you dont even remember what made you upset. I think Cindy made me into the best dancer I could be. Shes someone I can never forget. And I will be channeling her when I take my first dance class in a long time, this Saturday!
3. Mrs Coffin – First of all, what an amazing name for a second grade teacher. Mrs Coffin will forever remain my favorite teacher. She was the smartest, most elegant women a second grader has ever seen. In 1992, the style was long floral dresses. Not the maxi dresses like now, but straight, spaghetti strapped with little cropped sweaters over the top. She had that style, and I had a dress that was similar (which is still hanging in my closet at home, can’t bear to let it go). She taught me everything a second grader should need to know and more (for example, to not use the middle finger salut..even though that horrible boy told me to do it). She was patient and kind and intellegent. She was probably my first role model, and I worked very hard in school in her class, and all the years to come! From her I learned at a young age you can be poised, smart and forgiving (and ever since then I think before using my middle finger).
4. 5. Okay I cheat. I wasn’t going to include family but I must. Erica and Nana are my last two. There is not a doubt in my mind that I wouldnt be the person I am today without their unwavering support. From chipping in for dance classes, voice lessons, piano and guitar lessons, tennis camp, figure skating lessons or whatever it might be. Theres no way I would have reached my potential or be where I am today without them. Erica is the perfect aunt because she is the mom without the discipline and the big sister without the …well being how a big sister can be 🙂 I can call her up and talk for hours. I have inherited my love of animals and giving spirit from her. Once I was on the phone with Ian and talking and he goes…you are so weird you sound just like Erica. The comparison is the biggest compliment he has ever given me! If I asked erica to buy me a house and a car and a pony she wouldnt hesitate to say, let me see what I can do, then go out and sell her kidney and her own car and house to do it. She really is one of my best friends and biggest supporters! A lot of the same can be said about my Nana. It’s weird going for longer than a week and not calling her up to chat. Shes insanely smart and born in the wrong time, if she were my age today she’d already be a doctor, and probably a lawyer too and on her way to writing her second or third novel. She reads more than any person I have ever met and knows more about history then all my history teachers combined. She is also always been quite styling. She grew up in Kansas but went to San Francisco for her senior year of high school. She modeled, she worked in a hospital and she walked those hills in high heels! She is always up on the latest fashion and when I was living at home, our back to school shopping guru. She gives me her clothes shes kept, but of course I’m much too tall (the christian dior skirt just fits! and the DVF wrap dress is amazing), if I wore her same size shoe I’d be the happiest person in the world. It’s hard to say what they mean to me. I mean, how much does your right arm mean to you? Impossible to imagine life without it.
My Nana. I believe she is 21.