David White: Ballet to Teaching


The lights have just gone down and the curtains are closing. You leave the stage and hop on the bus to drive to your next location on tour. It all sounds like a dream, but this was English teacher Dave White’s reality for 15 years.

It all happened by chance. When White was going into college, he had an open slot for a class and dance just happened to fit the category he needed.

“I thought ‘Well, I need a one unit class so why not?’ so I tried it and I did pretty well,” said White.

He instantly had a liking for dance due to the many different aspects that go into making ballet what it is.

“It’s a unique endeavor in that it’s a sport and an art wrapped up into one,” White said, “I always found it was a unique combination of physical strain, like breathing heavy and trying to keep your muscles working, and yet you’re in this artistic mode at the same exact time.”

A big part of being a successful ballet dancer for him was going on tour. It was an amazing experience and allowed him to see so much of the United States.

‘The touring is a lot of fun,” said White, “I probably got to go to around 20 different states and they treat you like a prince. You’d get limo rides and they’d put you in apartments or pay for your plane ticket.”

Another huge plus for him was how it whipped his body into shape. Dancing tirelessly for hours on end every day gave him lots of strength and endurance.

Unfortunately, White wasn’t able to dance forever. He had to leave it in his thirties because he wanted to go a different direction with his life.

“I quit just because I was getting older and I wasn’t gonna be a super star,” White said,” I was 34 and I wanted a decent job and a wife and a family. I was worried about injuries and you don’t have insurance for that, so I just kind of let it go.”

After White left his dancing career behind him, he moved on to teaching. Teaching keeps his daily life interesting and exciting.

“It’s different every year and pretty much every day,” said White. “Every Fall when we start, it’s a new group of kids and you’re a little bit older, a little bit more distant. It’s just fresh”

Although teaching is refreshing for him, students don’t always make his job easy. Students tend to start ganging up on teachers.

“Lately in the last ten years, kids will start to mob together and lose control,” said White. “Sometimes it’s my fault because there’s a lousy lesson plan and they’ll start to gang up on you but it can get pretty lonely sometimes when your lesson goes off the tracks.”

He’s been teaching ever since and still loves it every day. But there’s no doubt that his dancing years were a dream and probably hold many of his greatest memories.