How do I introduce this week’s spotlight? It is not easy. This one I gave birth to. She grew up in my house, leaving dirty dishes in the sink and stinky clothes under her bed. She is loud, obnoxious, and makes me want to pull out all of my hair. When she was two, I was so concerned with her behavior that people recommended I read “The Spirited Child.” I didn’t. I dealt with her day, by day, by day. She argued with me in class after SHE would ask me questions. She would sit herself in the middle of the room when I would “kick her out,” refusing to leave. But, WOW. She had goals. She had ambition. She had to deal with people at school telling her “my mom said you only made Nutcracker because of your mom” when 1.) they had never seen her dance, and 2.) that child didn’t make Nutcracker because SHE HAD NEVER TAKEN A DANCE CLASS. I taught Bailee from an early age that nothing would be handed to her. She needed to work her bum off to prove that she deserved every part that she got. I learned these lessons, and I was never going to expect that she be handed ANYTHING.
She was born on the third anniversary of Rockballet. The kids came to see me in the hospital right after delivery. She was in her first dance class at 6 days old. She has never known anything but dance her whole life. When I realized that she had an interest in musical theatre (where I had no experience), I decided I needed to stockpile her “tool-kit” with videos and cds with all of the classical musicals. I made sure she had tumbling skills, because I knew that would be a big deal if she wanted to succeed in the industry, when she was four. Was I a stage mom? Maybe, but I was ALSO her biggest critic. I told her when her singing was off key. I told her when her knee was bent, and guess what? She learned, and she is thriving. It is ok to let your kid “not be the best” and learn from their mistakes.
SD: How do you incorporate dance into your adult life?
BB: I am currently attending college at Point Park University where I am studying dance. I have dance classes everyday in Ballet, Modern, Jazz, and tap.
SD: What is a life lesson that you learned in dance that is applicable to your adult life?
BB: It taught me that with any “No” there will be a “Yes”. I always keep that thought in mind because I may be working the hardest I have ever worked in my life and still get turned away. It might be because of my dancing or it might be because I am an inch too tall for what directors want. Take every “No” as another push to work harder for what you want. Because one day the “No” will turn into a “Yes”.
SD: What does your exercise/stretching regimen look like today?
BB: Right now I am dealing with lots of hip flexor issues so one stretch I do for a few minutes on each side before every class of the day is called the “Pigeon Stretch.” Here's how you do it: Bring the heel of your front leg to the pants pocket on your other leg. This will align your hips and allow you to drive them into the floor, accentuating the stretch.
SD: What is your favorite memory from your dance days?
BB: Anytime I went on stage. The adrenaline rush is always my favorite thing. It always makes me leave everything behind and shine.
SD: What made your family choose Springfield Dance for you?
BB: My mom…she owns the place.
SD: If there was one thing you would change about your dance experience, what would that be?
BB: Really stretching more in my high school years. I feel like I could have greater flexibility now if I would have kept up with it then.
SD: How did dance shape you as a person?
BB: All I knew growing up was dance and musical theatre. So it has really shaped me into being the outgoing gal I am now!
SD: What is one piece of advice that you wish you could go back and give to your younger self?
BB: It’s okay to not be perfect. As dancers, we all seem to strive for perfection and beat ourselves down when we are unable to achieve it. Sometimes it's more about taking risks and falling down to really understand how to do something. Let yourself be imperfectly perfect and get back up and try again.
SD: Do you think dance is important for children; if so, why?
BB: Yes, through dance you not only learn to develop basic motor skills, but you also learn some great personal life lessons.
SD: What would you love to see Springfield Dance do more?
BB: Move to Florida.
Thanks, Bailee Brinkman, it seems to be a theme!