From Our Editors
Since she was 4 years old, Barbara Derecktor Donahue's role models were famous ballerinas. As an adult, she performed with multiple ensembles, managed a dance company, and taught students of all ages how to perfect their pirouettet. She honed her technique over the ensuing 12 years, and today leads classes at The Dancing Spirit Studio that guide visitors through their own empowering undulations, steps, isolations, and rhythm. In addition to drawing pupils from all walks of life, her innovative lessons have earned her the title of Strathmore's 2012 Professional of the Year in dance education.
Barbara's chief concern, other than retrieving lost hip scarves from innie bellybuttons, is freedom of creativity. She urges her students to experiment with steps in a nonjudgmental environment, whether they are practicing body waves or composing a costume for a chair-dance routine. The breadth of her experience allows her to blend ballet, modern dance, and Middle Eastern maneuvers into a signature fusion of styles. As a result, the studio's shows are always different. Practicing groups can sync their choreography with the flow of the waters in the nearby Narragansett Bay.