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Winter Woes Won’t Keep Dancer From What She Loves

February 26, 2011 by Josh Morgan

Some people like to dance, some love it, and yet others live it.
Cheshire teenager Julia Meakin falls into that last category and, recently, she went above and beyond what is normally expected of her to make sure she could have that opportunity to dance. As everyone remembers, January was a disaster in terms of snow and ice accumulation. Virtually every week, schools were closed or delayed, and travel was difficult all over the state. Meakin, 15, who dances at A Dance Class in the Watch Factory Shoppes, was saddened to see back-to-back classes canceled because of snow and ice in mid-January.
“We had like two inches of solid ice. It was a big storm,” Meakin recalled. “The entire area was a sheet of ice.”
Already having missed classes on Wednesday and Thursday that week, Meakin took it upon herself to make sure A Dance Class would be open that Saturday morning. According to Doreen Cran, owner and director of A Dance Class, “everybody was overwhelmed” with the weather last month. Roads were narrowed and snow banks were piled so high it was difficult to see around corners. Residents and business owners all over Cheshire had trouble clearing their sidewalks and parking lots because, it seemed, every other day a new storm was blanketing the Town in fresh snow and ice.
Dance Girl.JPG“No one in town could keep up with the snow and ice,” Cran said. “Everybody had to pitch in.”
So that Friday after school, the 15-year-old Meakin asked her father to drive her to the Watch Factory Shoppes. Instead of packing dance shoes and tights for a rehearsal, Meakin loaded the car up with snow shovels and ice scrapers. With the help of her dad, Meakin chipped away ice and cleared snow to widen the sidewalks in an effort to ensure A Dance Class would be able to open the following morning.
“I really wanted to come to rehearsal on Saturday,” Meakin admitted. “The ice was so thick. I came out with my dad and we shoveled.”
Meakin dances 14 hours per week, and she was “going crazy” not being able to get to class because of the weather. Early last week, before her rehearsal, Meakin explained that “I had to get back here to dance again,” and, to ensure that happened, she had to take matters into her own hands.
“I can’t stand it when I’m not dancing. I need to have it,” Meakin stated. “It was hard to miss class a lot because of the storms. I was willing to do it. I’d do almost anything to get to dance.”
As a result of her efforts, Cran was able to open her studio on Saturday for Meakin, her classmates, and loads of other dancers in Cheshire. Cran said Meakin was “just amazing” and she was totally surprised that the teenager would help clear the sidewalks so she could dance. In an age where some teenagers get a bad rap for being selfish or lazy, Cran said Meakin’s act proved that some teens are selfless and caring.
“We were able to have dance that next morning, Julia was so fantastic,” Cran stated. “She is a really good kid. That was the sweetest thing for her to do. It was amazing.”
Meakin said it took around an hour to clear the walkway but, for her, it was more than just 60 minutes of time on a Friday afternoon. It was more than shoveling a sidewalk. This was a path to A Dance Class, a path to her happiness.
“I am very happy to be back dancing,” Meaking said. “I feel like I helped out and that feels good.”

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