Dear Mrs. Roberts,
It's Mollie - we ran into each other the other day at Books A Million? You have been on my mind since then and I wanted to tell you something.
I first met you when I was in sixth grade (1987). I was new to HMS and you were on the stage in the old gym and I was in the crowd on that red rubber floor.
You taught us how to Pas de Bourree: Step in place with the Right foot. Step the Left foot out to the side, transfer weight into Left foot, lightly lift Right foot. Step Right foot back down and bring Left foot next to it. Sixth grade was my first year in Homewood and I was nervous and tragic, like all other 6th grade girls. I did not take dance lessons like the others...but I would fall asleep every night to the radio hoping "my song" would come on so I could dance one more time before sleeping. I loved it so much.
You said step in place first: know your space and claim it before stepping out. That was my morning in the safety of my room.
You said step the other foot out to the side - take a risk, try something new, put your weight there. That was my school day.
You said come back to the center, bring your feet next to each other and stand strong. That was me safely back home at the end of the day.
You blew my mind with that Pas de Bourree. You were patient and repetitive. You taught us all despite levels of experience. I felt important learning from you. It was my first invitation to dance and it felt like a glass ceiling breaking and disco balls spinning and everyone smiling.
I went on to Cheerleading for 3 years (in order to dance more) then danced with the Star Spangled Girls. I took classes at BSC then Emory University, as well as dancing with 3 student-run dance companies while at Emory.
Now I teach yoga and I regularly lift you up with gratitude for that first dance breakthrough that helped convince me I COULD DO IT. All I have to do is first step in place, then out to the side, then come back to my center and stand strong, feet side by side.
Thank you, Mrs. Roberts.