How Dancing Became A Family Hand-Me-Down



My mother has been dancing since she was about 6 and is a leading lady on the dance team of Smooth N’ EZ. She’s traveled to Texas, Atlanta, New York and California. I’ve always wanted to know why she loved this so much. Dancing was her passion.  Dancing and travel are the two things I love. It was basically passed down. I could go on all day about what it does for me. So I asked my mother, Angela Tindle, about dancing and traveling.

Reina: How old were you when you realized you love to dance?  

Angela: I was very young about five or six when I “realized” I loved to dance.  I used to dance throughout the house kicking my legs and spinning all over the place.  I’m pretty sure I drove my mother crazy.

Reina: Why did you start dancing?  

Angela: I started dancing because I couldn’t NOT dance.  If there was music I was moving. And movement correlates to freedom for me.                                                                                                                   

Reina: How does dancing help with stress?  

Angela: I forget everything and everyone around me when I dance. I guess I could give you the medical jargon.  Dance helps with memory, depression, sleeplessness, posture, flexibility, weight loss, etc., etc.  My answer is that when I dance I smile, I often don’t think of anything other than how I feel in that moment and everything that is not in that moment slips away.

Reina: Would you recommend dance as a way to help with frustrations?  

Angela: Dance can be physically exhausting (that’s a good thing).  It’s a great equalizer because you are focusing on your body and your movements and the creativity of allowing your physical self to take control.  Dance gets you out of your head so your answer is, yes, it can help with frustrations.

Reina: What does dance do for you?  

Angela: Dancing makes me happy. One of the side benefits is it’s my lazy workout.  I can dance for hours; demanding dance routines, repetitive practice and I’m exhausted and can barely stand at the end of it and yet I often will say, that was a great practice and it doesn’t feel like work to me.

Reina: How does dance and travel connect?

Angela: I’ve had the chance to travel to some pretty diverse arenas.  From Hotlanta, Detroit, Texas, California and close to home in Virginia and Maryland.  It’s great being able to dance with so many people and cultures. I have something in common with someone everywhere in the world.  I think that’s an amazing statement.  I can go to Russia, France, Germany, Latvia, New York, LA, Atlanta and South Carolina and find DANCE and DANCERS.  I’m never alone.  With my dance team, I’ve traveled all over the U.S. performing and competing.  And with most dance events it’s not clubbing—it’s dancing—usually hotel ballrooms and event centers. So these are family events where you take your children with you."

I dance and travel. So I now see why it’s such a big deal to her. Dancing has become a part of me and traveling is something I already do and look forward to going to places where I haven’t visited. I used to go to dance rehearsals with my mom every Saturday. When she left Mondays and Wednesdays for rehearsals, I used to wonder what was the big deal. One Saturday I went with her and decided I wanted to learn what they were doing. So my mom signed me up that day and the rest was history. I not only got interested in swing dance, but also hip-hop, contemporary and ballet. With that interest I started to learn all types of dance and teach myself. I signed up at my school to be a drumline dancer and within less than a month I became the captain of the dancers. I remained the captain for 2 years. I went on to join on the dance team with an outside source. I’ve traveled with my school and family. The first time I left D.C to visit Atlanta, I realized I wanted to keep traveling outside my city. I’ve traveled to North Carolina, South Carolina, Atlanta and a few more places. Everyday in my head I thank the man above that my mom taught me to dance and signed me up. Every Saturday I go to dance practice. I'm also trying to get a dance team started at the school. I express myself through dancing. When I dance I tell a story.

Reina Tindle is a junior at Friendship Tech Prep Academy.