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Faith Waters Expressing Herself Through Dancing and Giving

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07/01/2011 - By Gayle Irwin

With a new school year on the horizon, 15-year-old Faith Waters finds ways to discover herself, and the ways she most enjoys are dance and caregiving.

Faith is both student and teacher at Beautiful Feet. She graces the dance floor as a student in a variety of genres: ballet, tap, jazz and pointe (which involves putting a wooden block in one's ballet shoes). She also teaches ballet to 3-to-5-year-olds.

"It's my strongest point," she said of ballet. "And, I like to teach."

Faith has been a student at the academy for only two years, yet she has been dancing nearly half her life. She enjoys ballet the most, she said. "It's more structured, and I like structure and discipline," Faith stated.

That discipline includes practicing in a studio her father set up for her in the garage.

Yet, there is also emotion involved with dancing, and that emotion extends to her association with Beautiful Feet. Faith said she likes Beautiful Feet primarily because of the encouragement and emotion felt there.

"We're a huge family everyone gives you hugs," she said.

Dancing is a way not only of giving but also of finding herself.

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"I'm free, nothing holds me back," Faith said. "I don't have to pretend to be someone I'm not."

Faith has fought some great challenges in her young life, including bullying when she was just in elementary school and health issues with family members, including her father recently falling and breaking his neck. Those challenges have not embittered her, however. Faith plans to attend nursing school in the future.

"I really like to help people," she said.

"She's a great little caregiver," said her mother, Deb.

Her caregiving began when she was not much older than the children to whom she teaches ballet. Faith's grandmother experienced a stroke several years ago, and Faith helped her in many ways, including practicing speech.

Faith's caregiving now extends to helping her father, who wears a neck collar, and to taking care of the family's three dogs. Ginger, a 3-year-old Catahoula mix, responds to Faith's many commands, both verbal and hand-signals. Faith said she taught Ginger on her own, deciding what she wanted Ginger to learn and simply teaching her. Those lessons included how to slide down a slide. "Ginger was my escape," Faith said.

"She's done a lot with that dog," Deb added.

Challenging herself personally and creatively, Faith also delights in academic achievement. She is a straight-A student and takes advanced classes in math and science. She is also taking classes through Casper College as she prepares for her future career.

"Math and science are my favorite courses," she said. "I like problem-solving. They challenge us (in the advanced courses) by giving us harder problems."

Faith enjoys a wide variety of activities, including playing the piano and the organ and spending time in the Bighorns with her family hiking, camping and shooting. Although not a hunter, Faith shares an enjoyment of recreational shooting sports with her brother.

As one who responds to challenge and finds delight in creativity, Faith embarked upon choreographing a duet last year at Beautiful Feet.

"I'd like to do that again," she said with a slight smile.

She would also like to volunteer with an organization that helps animals.

Gifted academically and creatively, Faith moves through life's bumps like a graceful dancer, ever vigilant of new opportunities to share and to care.

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