Inside the world of dance - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Inside the world of dance


As shows like Dancing with the Stars take center stage, so does the art of dance in our area.

People both young, and young at heart are hitting the dance floor at the Wausau Academy of Dance.

"The tap is cool! No matter what age," Linda Haney, a retiree, and a tap dancer says after her typical Wednesday afternoon tap class.

And in that class, age really is just a number.

"A bunch of us used to take it when we were younger and we thought, if not now, when?" Haney explains.

For dancing mom Lisa Sippl, that "when" is right now.

"It's a lot more difficult then when I was younger," Sippl admits.

She dances in a woman's tap class. Many of these dancers used to tap their toes together when they were younger. Now, 30 years later they are back at it.

"You realize you can actually still do a little bit of what you used to do," Sippl says.

And dance instructors say this form of expression is very appealing to adults.

"We've gone from one adult class to over 6 or 7," Bekki Bauer, owner of Wausau Academy of Dance.

Bauer has owned to the studio for three years. She says in that time she has watched interest in the sport skyrocket.

"We started our first year with 70 students. Now we're over 200," Bauer explains.

Bauer says shows like Dancing with the Stars have inspired even the most uncoordinated to hit the floor.

"There's always something new because its an art form, and it's constantly evolving," Bauer says.

But it's more than just tapping your toes and shaking your hips. Experts say dance has many benefits.

"Like balance," Haney chimes in.

She says at her age, balance is important and it's not just a physical strain. Your mind also gets a work out.

"Even though you have the step in your head you have to transport it to your feet," fellow tap dancer Linda Svaldi said.

And for Sippl, it has emotional benefits as well. She uses dance to connect with her daughter.

"I love to watch her more than I love to dance now," Sippl said.

And her daughter, Zoe, says having her mom on the dance floor isn't so bad.

"I help her with her dance moves and she helps me correct mine."

Those moves take long hours to perfect. Dancers spend early morning and late nights perfecting their craft and finding perfect rhythm.

"Part of dance is to make it look easy," dancer Lisa Opatik said.

So whether you are just starting out, or been at it for decades, area dancers say the benefits of dance are more than getting a perfect ten.

"It's something you can do all your life," Sippl said.

And when the curtain opens, and the lights come on, all that hard work is worth it.

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