As a child, I performed in many dance recitals. My grandparents, Wells and Myrle Cloward, would come and watch and cheer for me. I took tap and ballet classes from Lavon Turner starting at the age of five. My mom, Grandma Connie, made so many costumes over the years. Not only for me and my sisters but for the dance entire class. I continued to dance until I was in college. My parents were very supportive and I truly appreciate their sacrifices on my behalf to allow me to participate in dance. I know they gave countless hours of their time and spent more money than I think they would like to discuss.

It can be a huge undertaking to get everything together and ready for the big year-end performance; choreography, music, lighting, sound system, backstage helpers, location, tickets, photographers, and the list goes on. And then, it’s performance time and the time spent watching all the numbers to see just a hand full of those you actually came to see. My dad and brothers were awesome and very supportive as they sat through hours of dance numbers. One year my older brother, Mike, was in charge of the lights and sound system for the entire production. I’m sure he didn’t mind working instead of sitting through the countless dance routines.

Now it’s GoodGrandma℠ and Papa Rich’s turn to cheer on the grandchildren. We have gone to many performances and we feel very blessed to have such talented grandchildren. We are so pleased with the opportunities their parents have provided for them. Giving them the chance to take dance classes, to not only better themselves as dancers, but to learn to use their time wisely and to work hard. Some of our older grandchildren have tried out for additional performances and have earned big roles in some great productions. Ayden and Sophie performed in a Fall production called Thriller with Odyessy Dance Theatre. They dance in the number Chucky. Ayden also auditioned for Pan with SALT Contemporary Dance and performed last July as the lead dancer.  In addition to their dance recitals, they have also been in competitions numerous times and truly excelled in their performances!

And of course, Papa Rich is an awesome Papa and not only attends the dance recitals, but he never comes empty-handed. He is always sure to have flowers or a treat to give the grandkids as they finish their performances. He is a GoodPapa! Please tell us about your grandchildren’s talents by submitting to “Guest Grandma” on our website or email us at

Thriller ~ Odyssey Dance Theatre

SALT Contemporary Dance

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