This month we offer you the opportunity to hear from a CVDA parent who’s “been there, done that.” Lisa Auld, mother of Bethany Auld, knows a thing or two about the commitment and benefits of having a dancer involved at CVDA. Bethany danced at CVDA from ages 6-17, joining the Performing Company when she was in 3rd grade. Today Bethany is a recent graduate of Pacific Lutheran University and working as an emergency room nurse in Milwaukie, Oregon. Lisa can definitely vouch that “dance skills are life skills” as she recounts highlights from Bethany’s years at CVDA:
Chehalem Valley Dance Academy: Can you talk about what Bethany learned from her 11 years dancing with CVDA?
Lisa Auld: First and foremost, Bethany learned what it’s like to be committed and dedicated to something. You can’t miss practice, as each class is meaningful. This helped her develop a sense of responsibility and what it’s like to commit to something wholeheartedly.
Bethany did solos and duos throughout her time on PC, in addition to the group competition dances. This helped build her confidence tremendously.
She learned time management skills. Classes are later in the evening for the older girls. Even though dance was her main focus, she had to juggle her homework and other commitments.
Sometimes there was competition among the girls, which was natural in that environment. She had to learn to deal with jealousy and competing against close friends. I feel that she learned conflict management skills through those experiences. I view it as a positive, not a negative. It’s good to learn about failure and relationship challenges. We all have to learn how to get along with all kinds of personalities even when things get rough.
CVDA: What about the instruction?
LA: It was excellent. I remember a there were a lot of meetings with the instructors to keep the communication open. Bethany danced under three different directors (and three different philosophies) during her 11 years. Kristen Stoller was very intentional about fostering relationships with the girls. She was a great mentor to Bethany!
CVDA: Can you comment on the commitment to PC from the parent’s view?
LA: Joining PC is a huge time and financial commitment! Going to the competitions can take up the entire weekend. Getting them to all the classes in the course of a week is sometimes challenging with busy schedules. I used to wish there was some way to reuse the costumes from year to year, but other than that, no complaints.
We would do it all over in a heartbeat! Dancing with CVDA was such a positive, even prestigious experience. Bethany felt good about herself as a result of the positive self-esteem developed through dance. She was a shy kid who was easily intimidated and dancing helped build her confidence.
CVDA: Other thoughts?
LA: Dance stimulates their minds by learning and memorizing the choreography. It kept her active, fit, and engaged. Such a positive physical activity. Every parent wants their kid to find their niche and CVDA was it for her.
CVDA helps them form strong friendships. Bethany’s best friends danced at CVDA, too, and they are still friends to this day.
CVDA: What advice do you have for PC parents?
LA: Be ready to make the commitment! It goes by fast. Make friends with other parents in PC. It’s good to have someone to carpool with, share hotel rooms, and enjoy the whole experience together.
CVDA: Has dance influenced Bethany’s life since she graduated from Newberg High School?
LA: She joined the dance team at Pacific Lutheran University, which was fun for her. Bethany also got certified as a Zumba instructor and taught Zumba at PLU all four years. She taught adult, staff, and student classes. She also taught tap and jazz for kids at the Tacoma YMCA. I went to the recital and they were so cute. It was amazing to see my daughter in a leadership role after watching her dance all those years. She is a great coach.
Recently Bethany was offered the opportunity to teach dance at a local cheer program. She has a deep love of dance that continues to this day!