Local Dance Instructor Celebrates 50 Years of Teaching

By Amy Jeanroy


Local Dance instructor Barbara Lara, of Barbara's International School of Dance, is celebrating 50 years of teaching here in Calais. 

At the recent Spring Recital, Barbara addressed the audience to share that although she has been teaching for 50 years, according to Ms. Barbara, "she still has a few miles left in her!" 

When she started, Lara was giving lessons out of a building on Main Street that has since been torn down. Eventually, she moved the lessons to her home, where they stayed for 30 years, until finally moving to the studio where they are today. 

Lara has been a constant in the Calais and surrounding area for generations. Currently, there are at least two families, who have 4th generation dancers in her classes. This is a testament to how beloved and important a part of everyone's lives Barbara Lara is. When attending one of her classes, it is clear that she is in it for the kids. Every child has a smile on his or her face the moment they arrive, and are greeted by name. Barbara shares the same enthusiasm for every level of experience. From the tiniest preschool children being carried in by their parent, to the adults who show up for Zumba. Everyone is welcome. 

Truly a gem in our community, Barbara Lara's International School of Dance has brought up hundreds of young dancers to enjoy movement and music. Calais is lucky to have her.