CDA! “Can’t Do it Alone!”


Jack at Concord Dance Academy
Jack @ Concord Dance Academy

Jack had his first dance class this week. We brought him because he has suddenly become obsessed with a pair of tap shoes that Gracie, and then Molly wore when they started dance. We thought it might be too soon for a class, and while he was timid at first, by then end of the hour he was one of the gang!

Concord Dance Academy has been a part of my family’s life for over 20 years. Back in the days of candy and soda machines being an acceptable part of our children’s daily experiences Cindy (Flanagan, the owner of CDA) had machines from Kenny’s business in the break room.  So, when it came time to enroll Gracie in dance, we chose CDA.

Her obsession was a little girl on the show Teletubbies.

She had an Australian accent and said to the camera “these are my tap shoes!” She then did a dance on her patio. Gracie stood in front of our tv for hours copying that little girl. She fell in love with dance immediately. Molly fell in love with dance from Kenny’s lap as they watched Gracie in her Saturday morning class. Just a year and a half at the time, by years end she knew every step of the dance.

She started dance class at age two.

In 2005 this was a big thing. In those days children had to be three years of age and potty trained in order to participate in dance classes. Molly was the youngest in her class that year. If you live in Concord or knew Molly then you know Concord Dance Academy and Cindy Flanagan play a huge role in Molly’s story.

CDA was a second home for Gracie and Molly.

When Jack was born it was assumed by pretty much everyone that Jack would follow the Banzhoff tradition and dance. One of his first gifts was a CDA embroidered shirt. Jack has not disappointed in the dance department. He can sit in a dark theater for two hours and watch a dance recital.

He gets up when music plays and dances around the living room. He actually has pretty good rhythm! The tap shoe obsession was the tipping point. I sent a recording to “Miss Cindy” as well as “Miss Hillary” After the requisite oohing and ahhing the message was clear.

Sign him up!

Driving to the studio my mind went back in time. So many trips to this place. So much history. The butterflies started fluttering. My emotions welled up as we went upstairs to the dance class. Looking at the waiting room. Watching through the glass. Gracie put the tap shoes on Jack and he stood on the chair to watch the class that was finishing up.

I got lost in thought as I watched all the parents arrive with their children. What I saw were the parents from my time there with the girls. Shelby’s mother Stephanie, Peyton’s mother Maureen, Marci, Dawn, Denise, Maria. I could go on and on. There were lots of Moms.

I will now have a new crew.

Jack was a star in the class. He was reluctant at first, taking it all in. Gracie was his helper. Seeing them together added to the emotional enormity of the situation. It was all I could do not to cry. He walked around the room with everyone. He danced to open shut them.

Then the tap shoes came off and the real fun started. Running, leaping, pointing toes, somersaults and of course, freeze dance. When the hour was over, we all just stared at Jack. He was in his element. He was also very over stimulated and did not fall asleep for several hours. (That is another blog for another time).

It makes sense that this is unfolding the way it is. Molly is still a piece of the fabric at CDA. Gracie still takes classes and performs. It is Jack’s turn now to see what this place has in store for him. His tap shoes are ordered. Ballet slippers as well. Come spring, he will make his debut on the big stage. You won’t be able to miss him, he will be the little guy in the tuxedo.

Concord Dance Academy “Banzhoff participant” recital number 18!

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