• Ashara Shapiro

Why we do it. The Necessity of Beautiful Moments.


Beautiful moments come in all kinds. There are ones that take careful planning and execution and then there are moments that luckily, you have the perfect combination of opportunity and timing to witness.

I have been working with The Roxey Ballet for a little over a week now and what I have seen up till today is the grit and passion it takes to not only run a successful non-profit but the importance inside these walls of support of each other’s craft, communication and genuine care for one another and the ballet’s mission.

Today… well today was a different side. I was invited to follow the professional dancers between their rehearsals of The Celebrate Diversity Educational Outreach show, and rehearsals for Mowgli, The Jungle Book Ballet, to the E.S.C. school in Lambertville NJ. This school is part of the Educational Services Commission School District. There are 70 students, a teacher/student ratio of 2 to 1. The reason for this ratio is because these kids come from various incredibly difficult backgrounds and life experience and are behaviorally not able to be in the regular Trenton public school environment.

I had thoughts of what I may witness and some of my expectations were met but what I did not expect was to be so emotionally moved by bearing witness to what we sometimes forget. The importance of a shared experience, the importance of expression and connection. An interaction between a dancer and student, the dancer appreciating the movement he was offering and allowing a teaching moment. A genuine joy of connection, of being present. This boy was so happy to trust and connect with someone he seemed to look up to and I felt like I received an incredible gift.

Those type of organic moments are crucial. They are what make us human. That experience and maybe the series that follow may make all the difference in how that child behaves or how he sees his future and may govern his decisions. He just may remember that and hold it close. That is what makes it worth doing. That is what I can see at the foundation of The Roxey Contemporary Ballet. It is the joy of living, of expressing your truth and bringing everyone with them no matter circumstance, in one big incredible conversation.

Roxey is not just dancing ballet. They are reaching out in every avenue possible to support community, education and the arts. I feel lucky to be a part of their movement and we should all be proud supporters because they are ballet shoes to the pavement, doing the work, in a passionate and thoughtful way.

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