My name is Pam Boehme Simon. I was a ballet dancer and instructor. I was forced to hang up my pointe shoes way before I was ready. Now I make videos.
Pam Boehme Simon
“I have danced my whole life. It is who I am. It is what I have given to two generations of dancers, and, what I hoped to do for many years to come. However, fate had other plans…”
I teach at a dance studio that has been around since 1933. Dancing here as a little girl, I returned in 1986, after graduating college with a dance degree. Been here ever since, with no plans to go anywhere else for a long time.
Plans don’t always go as planned
However… I have been forced to completely rethink that. The summer of 2016, at an unusually young age for such a thing, I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease (the shaky one). It’s a neurological, degenerative, movement disease. I’m not gonna be dancing for very much longer.
I will slowly lose control of different body parts, my muscles will stiffen up, and my sense of balance will cease to exist. Needless to say, I’ve probably tied my last pair of pointe shoe ribbons…
I mourned the “death” of my lifelong companion, dance, briefly. Then I wiped away the tears, straightened my tutu, and put on my thinking tiara.
Needing to find a new way to work and earn a little bit of income, I had to come up with a new way to make a living, and this one would have to be stationary.
After pondering for quite a while, I told myself, “Okay. I worked my derrière off to get to where I am, and I can do it again to get to the next place.”
Hmmm… creating via computer
I have always been fascinated by computers.
Back in 1994, I bought a big ol’ Macintosh Performa with a whopping 8 MB of RAM. I switched it on, it said “Hello” and we became good friends. I built my studio’s website in 2000 and that was back when it was all html or wysiwyg at best. Not this drag-and-drop stuff we’re spoiled to today. I started shopping on Amazon back when their logo was still a river and all they sold was books!
Soon after my diagnosis, an email caught my eye. An internet marketing/online business promotion sort of thing. Normally I wouldn’t have paid it much attention, but in my new frame of mind, it got me thinking. Hmmm… make money online… sitting at the computer… that… would be PERFECT!
For 30 years I’ve spent the majority of my time with children. I like to think that I have a bit more insight into the workings of a child’s mind than most. What makes them happy, what makes them fearful? How do you change a fearful one back into a happy one. Over the years, I’ve gotten pretty good at doing this. I know what makes them excited and enthusiastic and proud of themselves. I know what makes them dance.
So, computers huh… doing what exactly?
First, I started a blog, kinda all over the place (a blog salad one might call it) but here I collect beautiful things, silly things, dumb jokes, clever riddles, crazy stories, quirky music, real excursions and pretend adventures… you get the idea. Anything that may be of interest to moms, dads, grandparents, aunties and uncles… anyone who loves a child. Then, having enough self-taught knowledge of code and html, I started building websites for other people and places. Finally, a site, to collect and share things about my favorite ballet dancer, Sergei Polunin.
Sergei Polunin, Graceful Beast
Now, about THIS site… This site is different. There’s nothing silly about what I intend to do here. This site is about preservation, admiration, and inspiration. I’ve spent my life helping children become ballet dancers, and I’ve found a way I can kinda continue doing that. Granted, it won’t be the same, but ballet will still be part of the plan. Through Sergei’s amazing story, I can still try to make a positive influence on young ballet dancers anywhere. We’ve all seen how he inspires others. I intend to hang on to and spread that inspiration around while preserving everything I can pertaining to his amazing story and journey.
I look at it like this… If someone had known from very beginning how special Baryshnikov or Nureyev, Nijinsky or Pavlova, for example, were going to become, and they began stockpiling information about them for posterity. Just think what that would mean to us today and to future balletomanes. We who are here now have this chance. So, I am gathering pictures, videos, anything and everything about Sergei Polunin. As fans of the ballet and ballet dancers, we understand how lucky we are to live at this time. We are watching what could very well be a legend in the making. We can one day tell others, “I remember when Sergei…” and a very fortunate few can say, “I saw him dance.”
While spending so much time working online, an unforeseen thing happened. After years of experience editing music online, I wandered into a VIDEO editor one day. There, I found a new way to “dance” and “choreograph.” No longer having to create 20 – 35 dances a year for our annual recital, I was getting very “stopped up” creatively. Making ballet videos has proven to be a wonderful release. I pull clips together, change the music around… more or less “choreograph” a dance through video. It makes me very happy. And, to my extreme surprise, it makes others happy as well. I’ve just recorded 2,700,000 views on my YouTube channel. ****UPDATE: As of 8/10/2018 I have almost 5,000,000 views! ****
I’ve spent my life helping and teaching children, and this is how I’d like to continue doing that. Granted, my beloved dance will no longer be a part of the plan, but I can still make a positive influence in the lives of my precious little ones and budding dancers.
Well. All that being said, I thank you for visiting and for reading the story of my “why.” If this were a ballet class, we would now curtsy and daintily shake hands. However… it’s not a dance class anymore so “au revoir” will suffice, and a very heartfelt “merci.”