Ballet Shoes & Bobby Pins

Yay, 2011! We have so many goals and dreams for this year, and launching this Web site is the first big step!

This Web site and this blog is our attempt to do many things:

1. Open the door for dancers, teachers, students, parents for discussion, choreography, and communication

2. Track the journey as a dancer, teacher, student, friend, sister, daughter, choreographer

3. Collect thoughts, ideas, choreography, hopes and dreams for the future in teaching dance and working with the community

A quick note from the founder of Ballet Shoes & Bobby Pins:


Hi all! My name is Sheena. I grew up in Richmond, Virginia, listening to Michael Jackson and Celine Dion dancing around the house for hours. From a very young age I was ready to be on stage. I couldn't even begin to understand the concept of "being shy."

Everything about being on stage and in a dance studio seemed perfect to me. It was through this desire to be dancing, that I learned a lot of valuable life lessons.

I had a teacher with bright red hair (so obviously she could be trusted!) and she opened the doors of creativity, dedication, passion, and responsibility for an art. I was hooked from my first dance class. Nothing could keep me away; even spaghetti night at church, which my mother required me to attend every Wednesday night. I had dance class that night, and every night she'd poke her head in a few minutes before class was scheduled to end to pull me from some genius moment of dance I was working on. Spaghetti. Now. Reluctantly, I'd grab my dance bag and walk out of class.

But Wednesdays taught me a very big lesson. My mother let me dance as many hours a week as I wanted (as long as I promised to make fantastic grades in school), but she also kept me grounded in family and church. The compromise was having to leave dance a little early one night a week, to arrive a little late to spaghetti night. Give-and-Take. Balance. These lessons have stayed with me.

I continued my dance education, and pushed myself to get better, be stronger, find more courage, to hold myself in the splits for "just 8 more counts..." Dance is as much an internal battle as it is a physically demanding art, and the mental and emotional growth a student experiences throughout the process is noticeable (and I'd describe as priceless.)

My dancing took me to Governor's School for the Arts, where my performing abilities shot to new levels. I surprised myself with challenges I never dreamed of or thought I could ever accomplish. I met inspiring artists, learned the business side of the arts, and fell further in love with the art.

My experiences helped me become a stronger person and teacher. I really do owe a lot of people so very much for every time they amazed me, shocked me, loved me, got frustrated with me, showed me, made me stand corrected, and supported me. That's what I believe makes a good teacher/friend/person: Care so much that the results matter.

A lot of times things my teachers said didn't hit me until years later. I am still having those "Ah-ha" moments when I remember something a teacher said. This is my current journey: learning how to pass dance along in a way that is inspiring, infectious, addicting, so that they will discover what drives them, the emotions they experience, and a way to express that.

As my students grow, I grow. As I grow, my students grow. It's a relationship and a job and a responsibility.

I am here today because so many people felt it was their responsibility to lift me up, believe in me, and trust me with opportunities.

Every day I dance, I'm thankful. Every student who has a break through, I'm thankful. Every piece of art I experience, I'm thankful.

My goal is to continue blogging about my observations of the dance career, life and dream.

"This is real, this is me. I'm exactly where I'm supposed to be."


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