Constance dazzles and dances

Dec. 19, 2002, midnight | By Nina Feinberg | 18 years, 1 month ago

Talented Blazer performs with grace and dedication

"If I couldn't dance, I don't know what I would do. Dancing is my life," senior Constance Teage says ardently.

Teage, selected last winter by the professional London-based Royal Ballet Company as a qualifier for possible placement in the company, keeps herself busy by amazing those around her by teaching dance at the YMCA, participating on her church dance team, performing with the Blair DIVA Dancers and, until recently, taking classes at the Maryland Youth Ballet.

Teage arrived in the U.S. in 1997 from Liberia, her home country. While in Liberia, she lived through three civil wars during the 1990s. The difficult times created many painful memories for Teage. "There was constant running and fleeing away from bullets. There were so many times when your life was almost taken away from you because of what you looked like," she says.

She left Liberia with her two brothers and her sister for the U.S. on Jan 14, 1997, in an attempt to find a better life. Upon her arrival, Teage reunited with her mother, who signed her up for the Takoma Park Dance Academy during her sixth-grade year.

Teage says she originally found dancing difficult and unenjoyable but soon grew to love it, discovering that she could use dance as a release from her emotional pain. "Dancing started as a way to get away from the memories," Teage says.

Dancing became easier for Teage although she admits that learning certain techniques of ballet can be tricky.

In addition to peforming ballet, Teage works with jazz and hip-hop dancing and spends at least 20 hours per week on dance-related activities. She feels drawn to dance because of the uplifting effect that the music has on her body. "The music inspires me," she explains. "When you put music on, it's like I just get this feeling to move."

Teage auditioned in December of last year at the auditorium of the Rockville Montgomery College for the Royal Ballet Company, a British dance ensemble. The company selected her from a pool of applicants as a qualifier to join. Further tryouts will determine whether or not she will be fully admitted. If Teage chooses to join the company, she will dance professionally directly after college.

Teage has also won various awards with the DIVA Dancers, including first and second place ribbons at various area competitions.

Both Kryss Lacovaro, the DIVAs sponsor, and Brittany Ruffin, a friend and fellow DIVA, feel that Teage's work with different forms of dance is a valuable asset for the DIVAs. "She has experience in other types of dance that all of us don't have," Ruffin explains, and then adds, "She's awesome!"

In addition to being a talented dancer, Teage is also a dedicated student. "Doing well in school is 100-percent important to me," Teage says.

Teage's Advanced Composition teacher, Valerie Josenhans, praises Teage's qualities in the classroom. "Constance is curious and self-motivated," says Josenhans.

After graduation, Teage plans to attend college, where she hopes to major in both dance and computer engineering. She dreams of one day being able to dazzle the theater-going world by appearing in Broadway shows and musicals as well as passing on her love of dance to others by opening her very own Constance Teage Dance Studio.

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Nina Feinberg. Nina Feinberg is a CAP senior who enjoys <i>Silver Chips</i> almost as much as she enjoys pie. Mmmm, pie. More »

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