Debbie Stark is the owner and artistic director of Dance Kaleidoscope. She has worked in the Denver area dance and theater community for over 35 years and has taught dance to literally thousands of young people during her career. Debbie is the recipient of numerous nominations and awards for her critically acclaimed choreography including Denver Drama Critic Awards, Ovation Awards and last year, she received the Henry Award and the Denver Post Ovation Award for her choreography on "Urinetown" and "Side Show" both at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts. Debbie would very much enjoy the opportunity to share with you her unique philosophy on dance that has made Dance Kaleidoscope so successful over the years.
I would like to share with you a very special letter I received from one of my students. She starting dancing with me at a very early age and grew up at the studio. She went away to college this year, but before leaving she wrote me this letter the perfectly describes what Dance Kaleidoscope is all about.
Time has flown, sixteen years to be exact, and now it is time for me to graduate…
A clock seemed like an appropriate gift because so many little girls have, and will, go through the same journey I did. They will be counting down until the time when they can start dance class, and it will seem too soon when it is time for them to leave Dance Kaleidoscope!
I love dancing because:
- Each time I step on stage, I know I’m dancing for those who can’t.
- When I’m performing, I’m not smiling to win a competition; I’m smiling because I can’t help it.
- Each time I walk in the door I’m greeted by a hug and a “Hi Miss Marisa.”
- Every time I hear “Little Mermaid,” I picture swimming through The Characters to splash my tail, “Pick-a-Pocket” is still my favorite dance of all time, and I enjoy getting mad – If it’s during the Cowgirl Dance or at Miss Hannigan.
- Dancers don’t have to be perfect, but when they hit a great pirouette they know they’ll be praised.
- It’s better to be sassy than sexy.
- Zigs and Zags get an equal amount of time in the front row.
- The barre is actually the Toy Shop Shelf.
- Leaps can be perfected by jumping over a stuffed bear or Miss Debbie, and dancing gives me exhilaration like no drug ever could.
These are things I learned at dance class, but have carried over, and become life lessons. Because of you, dancers are not only good at passes, but they are also good people.
I can’t believe this is the last week I will be a dancer and assistant teacher at Dance Kaleidoscope! It seems crazy that the place I went three times a week for so many years will no longer be my second home. I can’t thank you enough for all that you have done for me and all that dance has come too meant to me!
“To touch, to move, to inspire. This is the true gift of dance.”
You have instilled in me the meaning of this quote and so much more.