Germantown Voices: Kristen Clark Germantown Radio
Dance is storytelling, it’s communication, expression and referred to as a form of kinesics by Germantown resident Kristen Clark. Kinesics is the study of how specific body movements and gestures are a form of nonverbal communication. Clark has been dancing or moving her entire life, whether in a studio, at home, or in public.
“I’m the kid that while waiting at the bus stop would be dancing on a street corner,” Clark says, “or who at every supermarket, whoever the people are who watched the security tapes in the supermarket, the girl who steals a move in the aisle, that’s me.”
Clark went to Canaan Baptist Church’s former Institute of the Arts, as a girl , and eventually, she danced into adulthood. Today, she is one of four owners of Kinesics Dance Dynamics. And dance is almost everything to Clark, she was faced with a difficult question: What happens when the activity that is part of your soul is unexpectedly taken away.
“Not being able to express yourself, not being able to do what comes so naturally to you, not being able to find those moments of expression, even when you don’t have the words but you have the movements,” Clark says. “To be restricted in that way, it’s different.”
Things changed for Clark last October. The dance instructor was already feeling the effects of temporarily closing down the studio due to the pandemic.. But one day, while walking her dog, Clark was involved in a “freak accident” where a house siding panel flew off a truck and severed her Achilles tendon.
This accident left Clark motionless; and months of healing.
“I will say that not being able to control what happens to you or what you experience; it is a lesson that I think I am struggling to learn and struggling to process,” Clark says. “I know that even when I was given instructions to be still, those were difficult for me.”
Now after six months of healing and one surgery later, Clark is moving a little but feels the difference in her body. With her dance studio open for in-person learning again, Clark says her body’s inability to move as before is “discouraging.”
“I feel so blessed enough to know that it could have been worse,” Clark says.” I am grateful that it wasn’t worse. But I can’t lie to you…every day is a struggle,every day is a choice. And you have to choose to choose to fight the battle to want better.”