Dance is a way of life for Becky Bearse

By Betsy Levinson
February 23, 2023

Becky Bearse handles life’s ups and downs in the only way she has ever known. She dances.

Bearse grew up in Concord in a swirl of movement. She choreographed dances in her living room with her younger sister starting at age 3, and delighted family and friends with impromptu performances every chance she got, turning every room into a stage.

“My hips just couldn’t stop moving,” she said. “I connected with the rhythm.”

She took classes at the West Concord Dance Academy in all manner of styles including hip hop, ballet, and jazz. At Concord-Carlisle High School, Bearse choreographed routines for the cheer squad. Along the way, she added breakdancing to her repertoire.

Bearse graduated from Bryn Mawr College with a degree in education and dance followed by a masters degree in arts education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and another in human resources from the Carlson School of Management. She founded her own dance company, bebE Dance where she specializes in fusion, an art form which seeks to “seamlessly integrate multiple dance forms,” according to the Umbrella instructor profiles.

“I was never not dancing,” said Bearse from the studio at the Umbrella Center for the Arts where she leads a fusion class for a growing clientele.

“Dancing gave me a voice,” she said. “As a shy child, dance was my safe space.”

“There’s a community aspect of being together,” said Bearse, adjusting the soundtrack for the well attended program. The music combines tracks from Latin America, Africa and Europe and the movement never stops. She has expanded the class into two sections due to its popularity.

Bearse moved back to Concord from Truckee, Calif. in 2019 after a series of personal setbacks. Wanting, no, needing to dance, she contacted the Umbrella for a place to dance.

“It centered me, body and mind,” she said.

Bearse works full time structuring diversity, equity and inclusion programs for companies. On weekends, she takes dance classes in Cambridge and rents studio space at Devens.

“Dance is a constant athletic, artistic pursuit,” she said. “It’s accessible, fun and a good workout.”