Alum Corner with Lani Townsend-Steed

Once I left high school, I was awarded a scholarship for Capilano College, where I pursued a biology degree and met my future husband, Kim. While travelling throughout Southeast Asia and Europe, we researched running a business and made plans to start our bike shop, Steed Cycles, when we got home. The year we opened our shop, we got married, and I began my Royal Academy of Dance teacher training.

I am now a classical ballet instructor specializing in preparing students for examinations. I find immense joy in teaching students of all ages and witnessing their growth and progress in dance. Seeing their energy and passion while they dance is incredibly rewarding. Additionally, teaching dance allows me to express my creativity and share my love for the art form with others.

On the other hand, working in the bike shop is equally fulfilling. I love bikes and being in an environment where we have a fantastic team and enthusiastic customers. The bike shop provides me with a different kind of excitement and fulfillment, and it’s a pleasure to contribute to the success and growth of our business, and I feel a great sense of pride in what we’ve achieved.

I am proud of the path I’ve chosen in terms of my career; however, my greatest successes are undoubtedly my two beautiful children and my wonderful marriage to Kim. I feel blessed to have such a loving and supportive family. Furthermore, I also have lovely, longtime friends – many of whom are now teachers at the school – and I am so grateful to have them in my life.

I have always been creative (my mother is an artist ). Waldorf education nurtured my creativity, and I felt empowered to think beyond conventional career paths and embrace innovative and entrepreneurial endeavours. The supportive and nurturing environment at VWS instilled in me the confidence to take risks and follow my passions, both in business and in pursuing a career in dance teaching.

Class trips, particularly hiking Stein Valley annually, have left a lasting impact on me and form some of my fondest memories of VWS. I felt at home and welcome, as though my classmates were an extension of my family. The sense of belonging and friendship I experienced at VWS continues to shape my perspective and enrich my life today.

I love that there are many people with whom I attended Waldorf, and now they are bringing their children back to the school, and they are in my life again – my old Waldorf friends, their children, their parents. Being part of such an extended community of many like-minded people is wonderful.

Editor’s note: Lani and Kim’s two children have attended the VWS.
Compiled by Michelle Gibson for Development, November 2011

Lani Townsend-Steed
Lani Townsend-SteedClass of 1992

The Vancouver Waldorf School provides an experiential, age-appropriate approach to education based on the insights of Rudolf Steiner that inspires students to love learning, to be creative, open-minded, and compassionate. With a curriculum that integrates all academics with the arts and social learning, Waldorf Education develops not only the left and right hemispheres of the brain but the whole human being. A child’s social, emotional, physical and intellectual development is considered equally, supporting a conscious unfolding of the individuality within each student. Waldorf graduates possess capacities for empathy and clear, creative and independent thinking that enables them to carry out a chosen course of action with moral courage and social responsibility.