My parents signed me up for dance class when I was a little girl. It was at a small studio in Royal Oak called Borgo Sisters. It wasn't competitive it was truly meant to teach technique. My class was a combination of Jazz, Ballet, and Gymnastics. I only took classes until I was 8 or 9. I then started playing sports like softball, basketball and volleyball, and left dance behind.
I loved dance class. At least I think I did. I have only happy memories, so that must mean I was pretty happy. Most of the time it was on Saturday mornings. On some days, my mom would have errands and appointments so my dad was responsible for getting me ready. Now, my dad is a pretty burly man, so this was quite a task for him. He would slop my hair up in a ponytail and pour hairspray over it. But that was the easy part- the hard part was getting dressed. We had to wear tights and leotards to class. My dad would put my tights at my ankles and tell me to jump in. I jumped, and he'd cue me to keep jumping until he pulled them up high enough. I would giggle as he'd say "okay...1, 2, 3...jump!" I'm surprised we didn't rip through every pair of tights, getting them on like that. It always made me think of Peter Pan gluing his shadow on- couldn't we do that with tights?
Once I was dressed my dad would drive me to Borgo Sisters. I'd put my coat and my adorable little pink monogrammed bag in a cubby and go to my classroom. After class, my dad would be there to pick me up and we'd stop to get a donut or a sticky bun. But that was our little secret. I wasn't supposed to tell mom.
In class, we were taught the basics of ballet and jazz, as well as tumbling skills and handstands/cartwheels. We also learned choreographed dances for a spring recital. Gymnastic was NOT my strong suit (okay, neither was ballet or jazz...) but I made it through and I liked doing it. I remember the most exciting day of class was always when our skirts/tutus came in. They were different each year, and we were anxious to find out what color and style we were getting. The girls in my class would crowd around our teacher as she opened up the box. The best was the sparkly one we got in my last year of dance. Mine was teal. I remember it well.
I remember my teachers well. Miss Carmy and Miss Melissa. I may have had others at times, but I remember those two very well. Miss Carmy taught my sister, brother and I, and my whole family loved her. She was so friendly and outgoing, had a real passion for dance and loved the kids at Borgo's. Miss Melissa was so sweet. She was patient and kind and really wanted all of us to do well and have fun. I adored both of them and can still picture them giving out instructions at our recitals. I am actually facebook friends with Miss Melissa, who is now married with children. She's still as positive and encouraging as ever, and I am lucky to have had her as a teacher and role model. She's still teaching at Borgo Sisters, which makes me incredibly happy.
I tried to find Borgo Sisters the other day. I was in the area, but couldn't remember the exact street it was on so I had no luck. But I know it's still open and thriving. I am so glad that other little girls and boys get to have the same experience I did.