Photo Credit: Eveline Carle, Cape Cod Dance Center
Many people turn to dance as an escape from everyday life. Sometimes, this form of artistic expression is the only place where people feel they can truly be themselves. Take dance director and author Eveline Carle for example. After her brother died, her mother left, and her father kicked her out of her family home at age 7, she found dance as her refuge; her one true home. Carle’s recent book, Dancing Feat, shares her path as a dancer and how she aspires to make dance education something sacred that can make a difference in young people’s lives.
In her book, Carle recounts a noteworthy experience from when she was in high school and one of her dance instructors used some extremely questionable teaching methods. Carle’s teacher regularly addressed the class as “fat marshmallows” and brought in a scale for weekly weigh-ins, which obviously is detrimental to any young girl’s self-esteem. Despite this traumatic experience, Carle went on to have a successful professional dance career. She began her professional training in Montreal, Canada at L’Ecole Superieure de Danse du Quebec, then danced with world-renowned company Les Grands Ballets Canadiens. Later, she moved to the United States to choreograph and perform live in theater and film, and now is the director of Cape Cod Dance Center in Massachusetts.
As the director of Cape Cod Dance Center, Carle practices very different teaching methods from what she experienced in high school. She provides a well-rounded education and artistic inspiration while helping students find a greater sense of self-esteem through the study of dance. Through her 14 golden rules to teaching dance, which are outlined in Dancing Feat, she teaches students to follow their own pace when achieving their goals. “Whether talking about competition, self-esteem or trust, the rules emerged from personal experiences,” said Carle. Some of her rules include: dance training is a path not a leap; learn by teaching others; and build self-esteem, not egos.
Eveline Carle; Photo Credit: Eveline Carle, Cape Cod Dance Center
So far, Dancing Feat, has had rave reviews. Actor and director, Jeff Zinn, describes the book as "much more than a "how-to" for dancers and those who might teach dance. It is a deeply felt and deeply moving memoir of a difficult life lived, challenges overcome, and insights gained." Also, Zinn recommended the book to all those who love the performing arts, either as audience or as practitioners. As for Carle, she’s overwhelmed with the positive responses she’s received from people in the dance community. “I am very excited about the response to Dancing Feat so far. I have received many wonderful responses from my students, parents, local Cape Cod media, and from dancers of all ages,” commented Carle. Clearly, Dancing Feat is not just a book about dance, but it also tells a story of how dance can positively affect someone’s life.
Dance helped Carle find her place in this world, and she believes it has the power to do the same for anyone who is open to it. “I would say that confidence lives inside of each one of us and dance can help anyone get more connected to that self. Once we get anchored in that self, that’s where the strength comes from that allows us to really feel good about who we are,” commented Carle. To Carle and so many others, dance is something nobody can take away. Opening your body and mind to the freedom of expression brings many people to a place they can call home. So next time life becomes too much for you, take a page out of Carle’s book and put on some music to dance it out.
For more information on Dancing Feat, or to purchase the book, visit http://evelinecarle.com/books/.
Cape Cod Dance Center teaches a variety of disciplines including ballroom dancing, classic ballet, contemporary dance, jazz, tap, lyrical, hip hop, yoga, and wellness which are all taught by dance professionals with years of experience. For more information on Cape Cod Dance Center, visit www.capecoddancecenter.com .