DN Spotlight is shining on Elsie Mcleod this week. Elise and her mum Pam recently join us for a chat about their experiences at DN Dance over the last 10 years. Here’s how it went.
When did you first start coming to classes at DN Dance and what are your earliest memories with us?
Pam – “I remember when Elsie started, she wasn’t even 2 years old, maybe about 20 months. We had tried out gymnastics, but she wouldn’t even look at the teacher. Then we tried Nicky’s class at Craiglockhart and that was is, we loved it. The first class I think it was called Tiny Twinkles [now Tiny Dancers]. I would be in the class with her and I remember her loving all the imaginative games they played and how much fun she was having. She would always, and still does, come home and show off her latest achievements.“
Elsie – “I don’t remember when I started dancing, but it was a long long time ago. It feels like I’ve been dancing all my life. My earliest memories are of being on my tippy toes pretending to be on hot sand at the beach in ballet class, and playing ‘pick swallow’ in tap class. I also remember getting a rosette in my first exam.“
You’ve been attending DN Dance for around 9 years now. What are the reasons you continued coming to DN Dance for so long?
Elsie – “I’m always excited to go to class, it makes me feel happy. I have lots of friends and the teachers make it lots of fun. I always liked dancing from when I was little, but I enjoy it even more now. I get to take more classes and different styles“
Pam – “Elsie adores everything about DN Dance, it’s her happy place! We’ve just kept adding classes on, year on year basically. We started with one half hour class and now we’re there 5 days a week, for I don’t know how many hours per week. But i think that speaks for itself, doesn’t it. It’s the relationships she has with the other students, the teachers, the belonging, it’s all the other things that come with it, not just the dance.“
Feeling of friendship and belonging
You say that friendship and belonging are a big part of it. Did you start coming to dancing with friends, or did friendships develop throughout your time at dancing?
Elsie – “I never knew anyone when I first came, I just went by myself. But I remember early on making friends with this one girl and I’d always make sure I was near her all the time.“
Pam – “I think her name was Alix. I remember at the end of each term Nicky would do a class presentation to the parents and it was so obvious to me that Elsie just loved this girl and looked up to her. She was so much bigger than Elsie at the time.“
Shows are the best memories
Pam – “I think for me the shows are the most memorable, it’s such an exciting time for the dancers and it’s an opportunity for their families to see how much fun they are having as well as how much they have developed.”
Elsie – “My best memory is the shows where we get to dress up, perform, hang out with everyone and dance.”
What’s your favourite class and why?
Elsie – “Modern is my favourite dance class because it’s hard work but the music is happy an we always have lots of fun… Coming to dancing makes me feel excited because i am going to do something I love“
What’s been your proudest achievements at DN Dance?
Positives of dance
What positives has dancing had on your daughter?
Pam – “At DN Dance, as well developing new friendships, Elsie has grown in confidence and learned about being part of a team as well as working on personal goals. Her teachers are very hard working, encouraging and enthusiastic and have become fantastic role models for her.“
Describe DN Dance
If someone asked you to describe what DN Dance was like, what would you say?
Pam – “DN Dance, is a fun, friendly and inspiring place to learn to dance. The teachers are all very welcoming and clearly love what they do, their amazing talent, enthusiasm and seemingly never-ending energy is what keeps all their students engaged and coming back for more!“
Elsie – “Fun, welcoming and the teachers are enthusiastic and Friendly. I love DN Dance!“
It is a genuine pleasure and a wonderful privilege to watch as students like Elsie grow from tiny toddlers learning to jump, into accomplished dancers who derive so much joy from what they do. I would like to offer a huge and heartfelt thank you to Elsie and her mum Pam from all the DN team for everything you bring to the #DNDanceFamily.