Dedicated dancer doesn’t deny dancing devotion

There’s no one more dedicated to dance than Sarah Koehler. As each day unwinds, she prepares herself for yet another trip down to Des Moines to show everyone in her dance class what she’s made of: talent. Devoting about four hours a day, six days a week to ballet, tap and jazz, Koehler cherishes every second she spends practicing. With a strong influence from her mother and older sister, Koehler began to dance at the age of four. Initially working with Robert Thomas Dance Center, she chose to switch to Capital City Dance Center three years ago, claiming that they’re geared more towards ‘serious’ ballet. Unfortunately, with this came the commitment of traveling away from home for every lesson. Her mother and sister continue to take classes to this day, keeping the family tradition alive. Koehler admits that dance has brought the her and her mother closer and has created an excellent opportunity for family bonding. Dance keeps her going in this intense world. “It’s pretty!” Koehler says, and lists it as one of the reasons for her motivation. She also points out that not only is dance a sport, but also a form of art. Dance gives her a sense of satisfaction; quitting at this point would be bizarre and impractical. Certainly, her aspirations seem to be promising. “My dream was to be in The WEB, so now that it’s happening, I can die in peace,” she said. This past summer, Koehler successfully auditioned to study at the Kirov Academy of Ballet in Washington D.C. She received the opportunity to further improve her technique and form, working with prestigious Russian dance instructors. “The effort I’ve put in was definitely worth it,” Koehler said. “It made me feel like I’d achieved something in all those long years of committed work.” But is she willing to sacrifice her own life for dance? Perhaps. On a dark, shady night a few months ago, Koehler and her mother were commuting back from dance on a narrow, one lane highway. All of a sudden, they noticed two cars charging head-on towards their minivan, one trying to pass the other. Even though her mother swerved off to the shoulder, the other vehicle still managed to scrape past them, shattering the windshield. Koehler still vividly remembers the way she was startled by the hundreds of pieces of shattered glass all over her skin. After all, getting stranded out in the vast country during the lonesome, foggy night would take a toll on anyone. Nevertheless, Koehler has managed to survive and is now past that terrifying experience. There are a few changes about her, though. She now doesn’t take either dance or life for granted. For her, the effort is worth it, and she reveals feeling as if she sacrifices her life for dance every day. However, nothing can stop this tiny dancer, and she will continue to twist and jump as long as she can.