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Southbridge, Massachusetts

Southbridge Recollections

Erica Whitney recalls Dance with Debbie Sichol

My First Dance Class with Debbie Sichols ~1988

Dance has been a fixture in my family since the 1970s. Since I was a child my parents have described their enjoyment in taking disco lessons with Debbie Sichol. At this time, Debbie's Dance Studio was located on the third floor of the Whitford building on Main St. in Southbridge, Ma. My Mom took lessons from Debbie as a little girl, and my Dad danced with Debbie in Gateways Anything Goes musical.

By the time I began taking lessons at the age of five, it was relocated to North St. This is where I recall my most fondest childhood memories. I spent countless hours in front of a mirror, learning ballet, jazz, tap and modern. I always had that passion for dance. I also danced Duos with my brother Chris, who also took lessons for years with Debbie.I recall watching movies and mimicking Jennifer Gray in the film“Dirty Dancing.” I can still feel that pit in my stomach performing recitals each June in front of hundreds of strangers. I stayed committed to this dance center for 13 years. I am grateful for my parents to have shared their experience and given me this wonderful opportunity of expression.

 Dancing not only taught me to overcome my fears, but also brought me to my life long passion. Debbie Sichol's Dance Center will always have a special place in my heart. After seven years, I decided to go back and take a dance class. It brought me back to those fond memories and began to look forward to that one night a week where I was able to express my passion.

Erica and her brother Chris in duo ~1996

Thats me on the right in 2001- my senior year


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