Thursday, January 9, 2014
Karen reminded me this morning that Elizabeth was three when she started at Dance/10.
Elizabeth was unsure, there at the beginning, how comfortable she felt having to shake her little booty in front of a lot of strangers - even if those strangers were primarily other three-year-old girls. Everyone at the studio, though, was encouraging - though none was as warm and vibrant as Bryant.
Bryant taught Hip Hop and one of his classes ended at the same time as Elizabeth's. Elizabeth would stand at the bottom of the stairs, after her class, and watch the older teens hippity-hop. I don't know who was having more fun - the rapturous dancers, following the lead of Bryant, or Elizabeth. Elizabeth, grooving her little body to the tunes Bryant had chosen.
Early on, Bryant saw Elizabeth off to the side - watching. When his class ended, he glided over and dropped to his knees. Hey, girl, he said. You look like you want to join my class!
If people could fly, Elizabeth would've flown. Such was the power behind Bryant's smile, accompanied by his willingness to take a moment in the craziness of pickup - with multiple dance classes letting out - to stop and give encouragement to a shy little girl who didn't know exactly what she wanted to do, not yet, but that maybe it had something to do with what she saw this man just do.
Bryant? I never saw Bryant without a smile. Bryant walked around each day like he'd just won the lottery - and he wasn't going to tell you about it, but he'd show you what it meant to feel so good about the world that maybe you, too, might pass some of that good will on to those around you.
Happy? That man defined happy with his grace and effortless moves - in the studio and on the stage. I'm sorry I didn't know him outside Dance/10 - I'm pretty sure he was as joyful outside it as in.
If you were lucky enough to ever see Bryant leap? Ever see him jump? You saw the world jump, joyful.
Bryant Cash-Welch passed away early this morning of a heart attack. I don't know any more than that. I do know that the music softened everywhere because of his passing. Bryant - you will be missed by all those you touched in word, deed and dance. Thank you for having a kind smile for Elizabeth and Kristina and for bringing joy into their lives. Into all our lives. Thank you so much.