Bulldog Spotlight: Mindy Haines

Bulldog Spotlight: Mindy Haines

Mrs. Haines helping a student.

Fine Arts teacher, Mindy Haines won the Dance Educator of the Year award from the Illinois Alliance for Arts Education. We interviewed Mrs. Haines about how dance has influenced her life and her love for it.

Haines started dancing when she was a little girl. Her passion began when she saw her older cousin had a pair of pink Pointe shoes and she also wanted a pair. “I saw a bunch of little girls tap dancing on a big silver circle and I was anxious to go home and see what other dance classes they offered,” Haines said.

Dancing influenced her life by teaching her to wonder about the unknown and to think the impossible is possible. “It has taught me to be ‘thick skinned,’ to trust my intuition and not to be afraid of taking risks,” she said.

Haines is inspired by many different things in her life. Her dad, teenagers, toddlers, quotes, sincere and honest people inspire her. “I love the energy of teenagers and how everything is SO BIG- they live for the moment,” she said.

Haines never knew she wanted to become a dance teacher until she was at an audition at Columbia College and saw a part-time teacher position at RB. She got the job. “I continued to dance professionally while teaching at RB for about eight years.  Then RB became a fulltime job and I had to make a decision to dance or to teach.  It was a very difficult time in my life, but looking back I am very happy I picked teaching,” she recalled.

The news about winning the Dance Educator of the Year surprised Haines. “I had no idea. I am a little embarrassed, but I am looking forward to going to the Governor’s mansion in March!”