Maille Baker: Kennebec Dance Centre Class of 2020
At KDC, we are so proud of all of our dancers: past, present, and future. We enjoy staying connected with our alumni, learning about their journey, and hearing about how Kennebec Dance Centre may have helped them prepare for their future. Here is what one of our KDC graduates shared about their dance journey after graduating from high school.
Q: What collegiate dance activities are you partaking in?
A: I’m on the competitive dance team at my school, and I volunteer as a teacher’s assistant for the drop-in dance club.
Q: How did your time at KDC prepare you for the future?
A: My time at KDC prepared me for the future in a multitude of ways. First, through technical dance training that prepared me for college-level dance. But KDC also taught me important life skills, such as balance, time management, leadership, and discipline. These are skills that will last me through a lifetime, and shape me to be a better person.
Q: What are some of your recent dance-related opportunities or experiences?
A: I honestly have not had many recent opportunities, as my university’s dance team was shut down two weeks after it began last fall. However, despite not having regular rehearsals or any performances, being involved in dance still allowed me to meet and connect with new people I never would have met otherwise, and I can’t wait to perform with my team this coming year.
Q:What were some of your favorite things about KDC?
A: My favorite things about KDC were the people and environment. KDC is where I met every single one of my best friends, and I got to grow up with them through dancing. This studio also has such a strong atmosphere of support and unconditional encouragement to learn and take chances. Teachers are able to cater to individual strengths and make you feel positive about your skills, while simultaneously pushing you to improve.
Q: What would you say to someone debating whether or not KDC is right for them?
A: I would tell anyone debating joining KDC not to hesitate. It’s an incredible studio and community, and it will always change your life in immeasurable ways.
Q: What is one of your favorite memories from your time at KDC?
A: One of my favorite memories is when the power went out during rehearsal when I was pretty young. I remember warming up to our self-made music in the dark, and it was really the first time I felt like I was a part of a family at KDC. Another special moment for me was always watching the senior solos. In moments like those you could really see through the performance to what the studio meant to them, much more eloquently than I could begin to describe here.
Q: Why do you love dancing?
A: At the risk of sounding cliché, I love dancing because it makes me feel free. It is such a powerful tool for self expression and to release and process your own emotions. It’s a therapy, and an art. After the initial outbreak of Covid-19 in March 2020, I stopped dancing for a bit, and didn’t think I missed it that much. Until, the next fall when I finally got to get back into the studio and move again. I immediately fell back in love with how I felt as I danced, and I realized I never want to enter a phase of life that doesn’t include dance.
Q: How has dance impacted you as a person?
A: On a personal level, dance has impacted my self confidence. I never saw myself as a typical athlete, and I struggled to feel adequate. Dance brought me out of my shell, especially throughout high school. Years ago, after a solo at a competition, someone asked me why I never smiled on stage. This became a common theme, my friends would always remind me backstage before any dance to “Smile! Don’t forget!” At that stage of life, I was always too anxious about the dance to focus on anything other than the moves themselves. Slowly, this changed. I became more confident and sure of myself in all aspects of life, because of the security and support I had at the studio. Years later, in high school, I got a judges award for stage presence. This was a huge moment for me because I was a tangible piece of evidence of my own growth. Allowing myself to relax and enjoy the process, and the stage, allowed me to release some anxieties in everyday life.