Many movements in dance could be described as a physical expression of freedom. For those who devote their lives to it, however, dance serves many more purposes than that.
Grace Barton Harvey, the co-owner of The Graceful Planet in Newtown, said that even after a hard day at school and piles of homework, her 10-year-old daughter chooses to dance eight hours a week. The young girl said that dance relaxes her.
Dance is as much about work as play, and there is tremendous discipline to the activity. Ballerinas balance gracefully on tip toes while the youngest dancer works as hard as she can to keep her legs straight.
Delores Riskallah Matzen has been teaching belly dancing for 40 years and is still shakin' it, grateful that in this particular dance form, she can still perform at her age. "If this were ballet, I would be washed up," she said.
At the in Newtown, teen tappers attend a master class with Mary-Lee Conte, and dance to the beat of the band.
Luckily, there are many places where local dancers can perfect their art, including, as pictured with this story, the and
The magic also doesn't even have to happen in a studio.
At , patrons are treated to a performance of folk dancing by dancers from the Connecticut Dance Oasis Center for Middle Eastern Dance.
No matter the style of the dancer, the hard work is clearly rewarded. The serenity on the dancers' faces, no matter their age, says it all.