Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Meet "Tracey from my dance class."

My regular dance class is called Rhythm & Motion. It was started in San Francisco and brought here to Cincy by the inimitable Heather Britt. There are 10+ classes each week, each hosted by the Cincinnati Ballet, some downtown and some in Blue Ash. There are 10 choreographed songs in each class and dancers and non-dancers alike throw down and do our very best to get it right.

But mainly what happens in those joy-filled rooms is we get to know each other. You see someone across the room and like the way they move. You notice when someone is really starting to move with ease and grace. You smile and play together, sweaty and exhausted. For a long time, you might just know someone as "Tracey from my dance class." Or "Hey, there's Melissa and Bridget ... they are in my dance class." After a time, after you have spent enough time sitting on the studio floor, waiting for class to begin, you start to get to know people a little better.

Enter Tracey Goodman Skale. She comes to class looking a hair more lovely than the rest of us: tall, blonde, smiling, elegant. She is curious and kind. She remembers events important to you and brings you gifts to celebrate them or tells you "good luck!"

You mainly think she is nice. And then you find out she spends her days as the Medical Director of Greater Cincinnati Behavior Health and that she is nationally regarded for her work with schizophrenia. So you think this is cool. She is a lovely dancer, a lovely person, and really really smart and connected too.

Then you get invited to see her dance as a celebrity contestant at the local Dancing for the Stars fundraiser, where each year they pick Cincy celebs and pair them with pros for a ballroom spin on the Music Hall Ballroom floor.

You wait for Tracey's turn and then you watch it happen: the moment of reckoning. You watch her glide through her fox trot like a pro. You watch her grace and elegance and joy and intellect and strength all team up to make her the most beautiful dancer in the room. She wins, of course, because she is AWESOME!!

It was a great moment, born out of a dance class where we come together to train ourselves for joy and for the ability to connect to ourselves and others. Congrats to Tracey for a memorable evening and for reminding us that we can embody beauty and make it move.

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