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Living on the dance floor

Evansville teacher finds comfort through dance
Sadia Ragland instructs ballet dancers at Children’s Center for Dance Education.

Sadia Ragland was born to dance.

In 2008, she graced the cover of Evansville Living’s November/December issue, handpicked from a list of local models for her exuding confidence. The issue was also historic, being the only one in the magazine’s 21-year history with two covers.

“She had a big, pretty smile and good mix of positivity and confidence,” says Evansville Living Creative Director Laura Mathis. “Especially when we saw the dress from Caché, we knew that was the one and she would make a great cover model. We liked her on the cover so much that we designed two and decided to include them both in the issue.”

Ragland, now a 38-year-old art teacher at Reitz High School and a ballet instructor at the Children’s Center for Dance Education, began her dance career in middle school, taking ballet classes at the Children’s Center through high school before teaching there herself. She currently instructs pre-ballet and ballet three days a week.

After graduating from Central High School in 2001, Ragland joined the Indianapolis Colts cheerleading squad — an opportunity she says she couldn’t pass up despite recently having a child and attending school at the University of Evansville. She cheered for the Colts from 2003 to 2006.

“I had my first baby, and she was probably two at the time. I was a junior at UE, and I would drive to Indianapolis three times a week and then do practices every other weekend, or there’d be a game and we’d have appearances the whole day,” she says.

Ragland went back to school in 2009 to earn a teaching certification from the University of Southern Indiana. She taught at Joshua Academy for a few years before accepting her present job at Reitz in 2013. Through all the twists and turns of her career and family life — she has four children: Jazmine, Maya, Jada, and Mila — Ragland always comes back to the dance studio.

“Dance has always been there,” she says. “I could always go back to it no matter what’s going on or if I’m stressed with kids or with work or with life, I can always go back to the bar.”

Balancing Act
childdance.org

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