Huntington Dance Theatre- Always
It’s funny how some of the simplest things can create a wave of memories so strong that you feel like you have been rushed back into another time and place. A time so familiar it’s like you never left. Maybe the events you so fondly flashback to have become so much a part of who you are, that they aren’t really memories at all. Maybe, just maybe, the line between then and now is so fine that it isn’t really a line at all; it’s an “always”.
Huntington Dance Theatre is a place where the simplicity of the first few bars of music or the look of a water fountain standing in a corner hold favorite and precious childhood memories. Those from years gone by will tell you that their oldest friends lived there, grew up there. There is a discipline housed within those walls that is so impactful, yet so ingrained, that the reality of a discipline is only realized years after their own final footsteps have been heard echoing within the hallways. Friendships become family there, and the test of time proves that the “always” continues.
As with any place, people come and go, as the phases of life make pathways to new adventures. Chapters end and new ones begin and yet the transitions are seamless and without void. There is a bond at this studio that has no comparison. A mutual respect is built on a foundation so strong that even the absence of a once-fearless leader is filled without hesitation. The beauty of the “always” continues.
It is without question that Huntington Dance Theatre, or HDT as it is so lovingly known, is a place beyond compare. There was no way to know in 1981, when a group of dancers followed their then ballet instructor to her new studio, that they were actually following her into a world full of experiences so grand that it would fuel them through every chapter of their stories. Even when physical ability limits what used to be, or life dictates a schedule that just doesn’t quite work out, we are pushed by the years of good there. How truly lucky we are to have been a part of something so much bigger than a simple dance studio! To some, HDT may seem like any other studio, but for those of us who really know it, those that have truly lived the beauty inside, HDT is our “always” – It is Home.
HDT first opened our doors in 1981, and allowed dancer’s dreams to continue year after year. It is filled with the spirit of those who were so much a part of the family that their presence is still felt each time the music begins. It is fueled by those that sew costumes, steam tutus, bake cookies for galas, and spend countless hours transporting dancers to and from rehearsals and events. It wraps its arms around dancers that give their all presenting glimpses of expression and release. Those same students continue to study and learn, so they can one day volunteer their time to continue giving students a strong foundation.
HDT brings together all that came before, all that are here now, and all that are to come. Always.
- Melissa Buchanan, former director and alumnus