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The Deans of White Plains hit all the right notes

 

By SARA K. TAYLOR
Staff writer
Southern Maryland Newspaper

Photographs by Emily Barnes
Friday, May 8, 2009
[Edited]

 

Poor Bradley and Rebecca Dean.They are doomed to a life of lovely movement and beautiful music. It’s the family business.

Like those who are taught from the time they can walk to change oil or debate politics at the dinner table, Bradley, 13, and Rebecca, 10, have been keeping rhythm, doing homework to the sounds of their mother playing the piano or listening to their father practice violin in the living room that long ago was converted to a studio.

It’s no wonder that the children of professional musicians were destined to be performers themselves.“Bradley is an entertainer, he loves to dance,” said Alexander Dean, a 23-year veteran of the U.S. Air Force Band. “He is incredibly gifted musically … I think that helps his dancing. To land perfectly with the music, your instinct has to be on target … the music has to be coursing through you.”

 

Bradley Dean, center, 13, practices five times a week or more at The Ballet Arts Academy at the Old Waldorf School.

Bradley Dean, center, 13, practices five times a week or more at The Ballet Arts Academy at the Old Waldorf School.

 

Rebecca, who has been playing piano since she was 5 and singing just as long, is the family’s only vocalist and at her young age has already elicited praise from many.While Rebecca has taken to the piano, Bradley ran from it. He was naturally gifted, according to his parents but maybe it was because his mother pushed him into it, he refused to go along. Lori Dean would get calls from his piano teacher telling her that Bradley was hiding under the table and wouldn’t come out. He just didn’t want to play; he wanted to dance.

The myth that ballet is a “girly endeavor” is far from reality, Bradley said.

“In ballet, I’m around girls all the time,” he said, explaining as maybe only a teenager can do. “Football … you’re reaching between a guy’s legs, then you throw the ball and all the guys are tackling each other.”

Bradley is dedicated to ballet; he will attend an intensive six-week training camp this summer at the Kirov Academy of Ballet in Washington, D.C. The camp will give the teen a real taste of what it would be like to be a professional dancer, a goal of Bradley’s.

“It’s not a hobby,” he said. “I have to dance.”

Also a drummer taking lessons from David McDonald, a member of the Air Force band Airmen of Note, Bradley figures if a dancing career doesn’t pan out or is short-lived he could make a living on the skins. “Drums are high-energy most of the time,” he said. “I could just play drums for the rest of my life.”

Alex and Lori Dean encourage their kids to explore their artistic ability. It’s easy when the couple often plays music in their home.

 

Alex Dean, left, and his wife, Lori, met in the U.S. Air Force Band. Alex continues playing violin in the band, while Lori is a stay-at-home mom and teaches piano to College of Southern Maryland students.

Alex Dean, left, and his wife, Lori, met in the U.S. Air Force Band. Alex continues playing violin in the band, while Lori is a stay-at-home mom and teaches piano to College of Southern Maryland students.

 

Copyright ©, 2009 Southern Maryland Newspapers

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