November 2015 - The Valera Family

We are the Valera family, Dad, John, Mom Laura, Danya (8) Katriel (3) and Judah (1). John is a Pastor and works for the State, I'm a costume designer and stay at home mom. We also operate a non profit benefiting children and families in our islands.

Danya has been dancing around the house from the time she could walk. Two years ago her BFF invited her to try out PDD jazz class. She loved it. Her first recital was fun, but it was her second recital that solidified everything for us and Ballet was added to her repetuoir. Danya had learned so many new skills, and really enjoyed the drama of performing. We have to laugh because she routinely has gotten Dancer of the day on the day of costume distribution when they get to wear costumes. Something about the magic of putting on a costume just makes her come alive. As her little sister Kat has grown up watching classes, she began to copy and learn the choreography with her big sister during practice at home. Many of you have seen her little costumed self spinning and dancing in the waiting area or sneaking into classrooms between classes. She is finally old enough to join her own class.

My daughters are not the most flexible or most fit, or in the youngest's case the most cooperative, but the teachers at Pas De Deux have each found ways to encourage the girls and help them grow. Huge thanks to Miss Annri, Miss Alicia, Miss Taylor, and Miss Heidi they both soo look forward to dance every week. I've seen Danya improve in so many ways since starting to dance. I see her push herself for the next award. Her dream is to someday compete in competition, and become a dance teacher herself. Kat just wants to be in a show and get a costume.

One thing I learned is that you never know how you can be used. When the lists come out for volunteers for recitals, find a job and enjoy the journey and comraderie of volunteering. The first recital I didn't know how to share my sewing skills or if there was even a need, so I volunteered in the mega room of 3-6 year olds. We had a lot of fun. By the third recital my secret was out and I had the honor of making, altering, and repairing costumes. I'm looking forward to not only making more things for the studio and recitals, but also leading sewing and crafting workshops. We are looking forward to seeing Danya mentor her little sister, and eventually brother and seeing all three of them continue to grow and dance for years to come.