Taking Steps: Chani Patterson

Playing in the background is rhythmic classical music, tapping pointe shoes across the hardwood floors. Chani Patterson is in one of the lines of dancers moving to the music in unison. Creating a piece of art through years of lessons and technique. 

When Chani was 3 years old, her mom wanted to put her in an extracurricular activity, something physical, and ballet seemed like the right choice. 

That was 12 years ago, and ever since then ballet has been the center of Chani’s world. 

She loves the challenge, the physical excursion. She loves the comradery with the people she dances with. She loves looking back on a performance and seeing all of her hard work pay off into something so beautiful. Chani loves ballet. 

Yet that all changed in 2020. Rehearsals came out of the studios, and went behind computer screens. The performances she once loved were put on hold, and the dance school fell apart. The classmates she once looked forward to seeing every rehearsal just stopped showing up. Even after the school reopened and dancers came back into the studio, ballet had lost its spark. Chani had lost her motivation. 

Chani had to make a choice. She had dedicated 12 years of her life to this dance school, 12 years of her life to the teachers, 12 years of her life to the friends she made, and she was about to leave it all behind. 

In the end, she chose to leave. She wanted a challenge, and she wanted to find joy in ballet again and couldn’t find it at her old school. This year, she made the switch to a new school, she is challenging herself, she is working with her new friends, and is back to performing again. Dance has regained its spark, and it’s not dimming anytime soon.

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