Longtime dance studio owner Eveline Carle has crossed over into the discipline of writing. Her book, “Dancing Feat: A Dancer’s Journey to 14 Golden Rules of Teaching,” was recently released by Willow Moon Publishing. Ms. Carle is having a book launch party Thursday, November 15, from 7 to 9 PM at Bucatino Restaurant and Wine Bar in North Falmouth.
Part memoir, part instructional, and part workbook (Ms. Carle has scattered some blank pages throughout the book for readers to write “In My Own Words”), “Dancing Feat” represents Ms. Carle’s personal story of her unusual and trying childhood, combined with her triumphs both as a dancer and as a teacher.
Ms. Carle shares her story starting at the age of 7 with the accidental death of her younger brother and the subsequent breakup of her family. After some personal upheaval Ms. Carle, who grew up in Montreal, finds herself at age 14 living in an ashram in New York for the summer and teaching dance to some children at the retreat. The experience gave her some much-needed structure and confidence, which helped her when she returned to Canada.
Dance becomes Ms. Carle’s escape hatch and ultimately her redemption.
In the book’s introduction Ms. Carle describes her journey as one of “trying to find home,” and ultimately realizing that “home eventually becomes dance itself.”
The 14 Golden Rules surfaced as she was writing the book. Truisms such as “Learn to Stand Straight,” “Set Goals,” and “Keep Enthusiasm Alive,” are explained using examples from the world of dance, but the messages could be applied to any discipline or life path.
“[The book] really is beyond the dance world,” said Ms. Carle, “it has a spiritual element to it.
“I’m hoping that it’s a journey for people when they read it. I’m very vulnerable when I tell my story and it leads to self-acceptance. Hopefully [readers] will be on the same journey while reading it.
“It’s meant to inspire people to open up with love and understanding to how we’re all really meant to care for each other and to care for ourselves. I think that’s what I learned by teaching is that learning to really care for those young kids, opened my heart and I had to apply those same feelings towards myself.
“The book is 10 years in the making,” said Ms. Carle, adding that she wrote the book eight years ago, after her divorce, but didn’t feel ready to share the story until recently. “Things have been happening with my students,” said Ms. Carle, “and it’s become more clear that there are a lot of conversations that need to be had.” Ms. Carle said that she felt that the story of her own path as a dancer was of relevance, “whether you are in dance or not in dance.”
“I came to a point where I felt that I had to be more vocal about these issues because it matters more to me than just in terms of dance education.” Ms. Carle hopes the book will be a platform “to be able to give the emotional support that [children] need to be strong inside.”
Ms. Carle said she hopes people will like the way the book shares something personal and then leads to ideas that might be useful to everyone.
Unlike some books that take years to put together, Ms. Carle said the impetus for the book was very immediate.
“When I got divorced I started questioning myself about a lot of things and I had trouble sleeping. I started writing at night because I was staying awake. So I wrote this very quickly.”
Ms. Carle said the process of writing put all the experiences in perspective for her. Ultimately the process helped her clear away her own emotional baggage and focus on the story. “I think that’s what took 10 years,” she said, “now it is a story, it’s funny for the most part.”
Ms. Carle hopes the book will appeal to dancers, educators, parents and others. She said she’s even heard from some “older gentlemen who connected and were touched by it.”
“I hope the book will allow people to go to their softer side,” said Ms. Carle.
For the November 15 book launch, one of Ms. Carle’s first students is going to speak and Ms. Carle and others will read from the book. Wine and cheese will be available.