Feel Good Friday: Doug Caldwell and Yumiko Dancewear
This post is inspired by the recent passing of cherished dance teacher and choreographer Doug Caldwell. He was an insanely talented teacher that traveled all over the world sharing his joy for life, love, and above all: dance. He taught myself and each one of his students to move from every last bit of our hearts and also the life-changing ability a teacher has. His endless passion, joy, and outpouring of love was unlike any other I have experienced to this day. Doug was and will always be one of my biggest inspirations. I feel like he inadvertently inspired me to create this blog so I had to give an ode to him!
I remember being 10 years old, standing in a huge hotel ballroom at a dance convention wearing my new favorite multi-color sequin halter top I begged my mom to buy for me. With a black leotard underneath, black stretch bootie shorts, worn in gore boots on my feet, and hair slicked back - I was about to take Doug’s class for the very first time. Little did I know this vibrantly positive and talented man would forever change my outlook on life and dance. Maybe this was my ‘first love’ moment. Maybe when people ask me who my first love was I should say Doug Caldwell?
Through him I fell in love with dance on another level and pinpointed my purpose within the dance world because of the lens he focused movement through. The dance style he taught is called Lyrical (now more widely known as Contemporary) and it immediately became my favorite. He explained the style stating, "It is about storytelling, emotion, love, light and spirituality."
Being a very reserved child growing up, I would always stand in the back corner during every dance class. After discovering Doug's way of using movement, I then used that to embrace moving through my own emotions and use dance as my biggest therapy. Dance was and will always be a sanctuary for me. It further led me to receive my Bachelor's Degree in Dance Performance and teach all ages including competition groups for 8 years. Doug inspired my own teaching style by making sure everyone felt loved, important, and comfortable expressing themselves. Front row or back corner. Similar to how I aim to cultivate positivity through personal style via this blog.
I am forever grateful for the gift he was to the world and the immeasurable gift he was to me.
Watch this interview with him from a few years ago - HERE
Yumiko is a handmade dancewear brand created by Yumiko Takeshima, a former professional ballet dancer. The company allows you to customize your leotards so that you can feel your best while performing your best. Some of my favorite styles are below - you can choose what colors, fabric, and details you want on each!