Cassie Bax started as a competition dancer at a very early age and came to Springfield Dance to improve her ballet skills. I remember little Cassie as this smart, spunky, energetic kid that had the drive to accomplish anything. She was more than a dancer. Cassie was a PERFORMER. She was a kid who didn’t exactly have a ballerina body, but didn’t let that stop her from achieving her goal of dancing in the Springfield Ballet Company. She realized that SBC was not really her path, as Cassie was SO MUCH MORE than a ballet dancer. She continued to take ballet class, but went on to continue competing because it was filling a void in her NEED to perform A LOT. Having Cassie in class was always inspiring, but also fun. You see, we shared another passion: Disney. Shortly after going to college, Cassie was accepted into the Disney Internship program and the rest is history!
SD: How do you incorporate dance into your adult life?
CB: I am a performer at both Walt Disney World and Universal Studios in Orlando, FL so I dance almost every day! Disney offers a few free classes throughout the year for entertainment cast members that I love to attend when I’m not working. There are also a few dance studios around Orlando that provide adult classes and I try to go whenever I have free time. I really enjoy watching performances, whether local or traveling artists, around Orlando. This city is bursting with talent and I try to support the arts in general every opportunity that I get!
SD: What is a life lesson that you learned in dance that is applicable to your adult life?
CB: Work hard, play harder! Dance teaches work ethic, discipline, time management, and gracefulness. But it’s also important to live in the moment and enjoy every class, every performance, and don’t take any role for granted. Dancers put their bodies and mind through some difficult circumstances but that only shows just how strong you can truly be.
SD: What does your exercise/stretching regimen look like today?
CB: At both Disney and Universal, we start every day with some basic exercise and stretching to prepare for our day and obviously the job itself is very physically demanding. I like to do some yoga whenever I’m sore to help relieve tension. I also take an aerial silk and lyra class once a week, which is the hardest workout I have ever done.
SD: What is your favorite memory from your dance days?
CB: Saturday morning pointe class was always my favorite! I remember that because it was usually a smaller class and longer than classes during the week, we were able to really dive into learning more specifics like “how” and “why” our bodies work the way they do, and those lessons are ones that still stick with me today.
SD: What made your family choose Springfield Dance for you?
CB: Springfield Dance has always been known for the strong emphasis on proper ballet technique. I hopped around with a few different studios in the Springfield area, but Springfield Dance is where I credit my love and appreciation for ballet. And all the teachers are so passionate about what they do and I love the personal connection I made with each one throughout my life.
SD: If there was one thing you would change about your dance experience, what would that be?
CB: I wished I stretched more when I was younger! Haha! Flexibility was something that never came easy to me and because I didn’t like the pain, I didn’t stretch nearly as much as I should have. It would have made my older life much easier if I had worked harder at a younger age.
SD: How did dance shape you as a person?
CB: Miss Ronda has always been a wonderful role model for me. She taught me just as much about life as she did ballet. One of the most important lessons she taught me was that there’s nothing wrong with being the understudy. Not everyone has to be the star and that’s okay. I believe that is one of the reasons I thrive in theme park entertainment. I often cover many different roles throughout each week, so adaptability is crucial. When I am in rehearsals for a new role, they are very fast paced and our directors are specific about every movement and intention. Quick learning and attention to details is extremely important.
SD: What is one piece of advice that you wish you could go back and give to your younger self?
CB: I wish I had known back then to enjoy the journey. I will never stop pushing to achieve the dreams I have, but I know now that occasionally you need to look back at where you have come from because hard work is not just about the end goal, every obstacle and achievement along the way is just as important. I am incredibly blessed by all the opportunities I have been given and I have learned not to take any role or show for granted.
SD: Do you think dance is important for children; if so, why?
CB: Absolutely! Dance is so much more than simply performing, it shaped me into who I am today. My confidence and work ethic all stem from my time in the studio. I believe the arts should be a part of everyone’s life.
SD: What would you love to see Springfield Dance do more?
CB: Maybe an alumni reunion? I would love an excuse to come back and dance with my friends again! Dance friends are the best friends!!
Cassie, that is an excellent idea. A Springfield Dance reunion with dancers from the last 23 years would be more than an ultimate dance party! It would be so inspiring to have you all back, if even for a short period of time!