Dance Photography By Little Shao
Growing up in the Lanning household, it was an unspoken rule that I needed to always be participating in a sport. I have no answer as to why but for my basketball loving dad, sports were consider a “fun” and necessary activity. From learning how to work with a team to developing some sort of coordination, I bounced from ball game to ball game, a danger to my teammates more than an asset. Moving from a bat to a racket to a soccer ball, sports were just not my forte. After years of overthrowing first base, almost hitting my instructors with tennis balls and having worse aim than a one eyed squirrel, I figured finding the perfect sport fit was just not in the cards for me.
But like all great loves, dance and I found each other by small acts of luck. My mum had signed me up for a ballet class at our local parks and recreation studio and knowing nothing about dance, I showed up in my tennis shorts and t-shirt to the company of girls polished in their black leotards and slicked back buns. And after an hour of plies, releves and grand battements, I was hooked.
That is where the epic love story between dance and I began. In the years that followed, as I grew up, passed into high school and then college, the constant presence of dance as a passion kept me grounded through the chaos that can sometimes infuse my life. Graduating to pointe, performing in the Nutcracker and the small accomplishments of each day in the studio are memories that continue to fill me with great pride and happiness. With each hour at the bar, the grace and elegance of each position negated the discomforts of leg cramps and blisters of toe shoes. This passion taught me the power of commitment and learning to take pride in the things that truly made me happy. While I will never be able to throw a ball anywhere near the direction it’s suppose to and to me, doing laps in the pool means floating around with a mixed drink on an inflatable lounge chair, dance will always be one of my greatest love stories.
Here’s to dancing through life Ruchettes! Now go embrace you’re wonderful, unique passions!