Volunteer Spotlight – Jo McKeegan

Without our volunteers, danceability could not function! Our volunteers have become a big part of our dancers lives, assisting in the classroom, and even forming friendships outside our studio walls. We are thrilled to kick off our Volunteer Spotlight Series on our blog. It’s one small way we can say THANK YOU to our volunteers who truly go above and beyond!

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Jo dressed as Minnie Mouse to celebrate Halloween with our dancers this October!

JoMcKeegan has been a danceability volunteer for three years. She dances with Emily W. on Tuesday nights. We asked her a few questions about her danceability experience! Read on…

Why do you volunteer at danceability?  
I started taking dance lessons when I was about 3 years old, and didn’t stop until I was on the hip-hop team in college.  After I graduated, I didn’t have time for classes anymore and really missed the experience of creating dances as part of a team.  I want everyone, regardless of ability, to have the same outlet for creative expression and exercise that was so important to me as a child and young adult.  
I found danceability recruiting at a local art festival, and was hooked!

What is your favorite part about class?
Ms. Amanda does a great warm up that mixes yoga, creative movement and traditional dance stretching all into one.  I really enjoy learning the yoga movements with the rest of the class.  They’re not always easy to do, but it’s very rewarding to see everyone get a little stronger each week.

What would you tell potential volunteers about joining danceability?
Go for it! At first, I was kind of nervous about volunteering; I hadn’t been to a dance class in many years and knew I couldn’t even touch my toes anymore.  But, it turns out enthusiasm for learning is a lot more important than raw skill.   In fact, I think the dancers get a kick out of cheering for the volunteers when we accomplish something that was difficult for us, the same way we are proud of them when they work hard to learn a complex pattern.   Emily is always willing to try new dance movements and works hard to perfectly remember each dance (usually I copy her…) and I find it inspiring to get to dance with someone who has such a great attitude. 

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Jo (third from right) with her dance class for the 2013-2014 dance year.

Danceability is a very positive atmosphere.  Everyone (the dancers, teachers, volunteers, parents, friends) always seem happy to get dance class rolling.  When it’s -10 degrees outside, and the weather has been damp and grey for weeks, it’s wonderful to be able to walk into a room of positive people ready to dance with you!

What is one great story you can share about an experience you had with a dancer you worked with?
Our first dance recital together was an awesome number and Emily nailed it.  After the performance, Emily and I were rushing off the stage into the wings.  I leaned over and told her she had done an amazing job.  Emily looked back at me and stage-whispered “Yeah, I know!” and gave me a high five.   I was thrilled that the class worked so hard,  and even more thrilled that everyone knew how well they had done.

List one fun fact people may not know about you:
I am obsessed with the songs from Disney animation films.  I have a whole playlist on my phone of classic Disney music.  All the dancers cheer when “Let It Go” starts playing in class- secretly, I’m cheering too!
Thank you, Jo for all you do for Emily and all the dancers in Miss Amanda’s Tuesday night class.

Stay tuned for more Volunteer Spotlights throughout the year!

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