A blog to thank my dance teacher

I believe the best dance teachers breathe dance in and out like oxygen. Dance is not the only thing in Miss Sarah's life of course but it is safe to say she immerses herself in it completely and is compelled to share her love and passion with others and especially her students.

Apart from my amazing parents, Miss Sarah has done the most to shape my life to the healthy way it is today.

Miss Sarah is an amazing teacher not only because she loves what she is teaching but because she loves teaching itself. Beyond the compulsion to share what she loves with us, Miss Sarah is also enthralled with the art and act of teaching. Not only does she teach us to stretch our legs, pointe are feet, or 'get our legs up!' but to also take care of ourselves and take responsibility. I learnt that recovering from anorexia is all about taking responsibility. I needed to learn to stop relying on my anorexia to praise me or make me feel better but I needed to do it for myself. I needed to pat myself on the back for my real achievements - not the false achievement of skipping a meal or losing weight. I needed to take responsibility for my meals and my food intake, I needed to make sure I was correctly fuelled and had enough energy to enjoy class and not rely on my parents to feed me or to make sure I had ate. I needed to take responsibility for my future... I needed to stay healthy!

When I started dancing again with Miss Sarah in Autumn 2016 my passion for dance felt very up and down (this was after two years of jumping in and out of classes at college due to my ill health). My experience with dancing in the past 5 years had left me feeling tortured. I fell in love with dancing when I was 12, but just a short year later my love for dancing flipped into self-hate for myself. The following years were a reflection on this; I was torn between the battle of wanting to dance and succumbing to my illness. I would lose dramatic amount of weight to but then frantically gain weight in order to audition for college or to maintain my place there. My weight was constantly up and down, I was driven by my anorexia to lose weight but then driven by my love of dancing to gain weight… it was a very messy and miserable time. However when I settled my feet back at Miss Sarah's dance school after a hard two years at college I finally felt my love taking charge and my anorexia disappearing.

My love for dancing has been reborn and passion and focus in dancing is now on my movements and not on the mirrors. I finally love dancing again and I feel like it has only grown since I returned to Miss Sarah last autumn, and is even more powerful than before I became ill. I believe that this journey she has helped me through has encouraged that love back in full force. Thank you Miss Sarah.

Miss Sarah has been fantastic for both my dance training and my recovery from anorexia. She is such a committed teacher and works so hard for every individual child and her incredible spirit drives us on. The constant energy and enthusiasm of Miss Sarah and her other talented teachers electrifies me to feel my passion for dance.

Miss Sarah and everyone at The Lodge have been truly inspiring! Miss Sarah has created a community within her school. She acts like a planet that we as her students obit. She has created her very own atmosphere which we gravitate around. She is like the nucleus and core of the school, we would be lost in space without her and our connections together would fall apart.

Miss Sarah has taught me and continues to teach me the valuable lesson in life, the importance of believing in myself.

Thank you endlessly.

Photography by: Daniel Brookman

Photography by: Daniel Brookman

Margherita Barbieri