Countdown to 2019 has begun!
Updated: Jul 30, 2018
Well it's officially the end of one season and the start of another one. During this time most Dance Studio owners and teachers are recharging their creative juices. Picking their new song choices for routines, restructuring their schedules, attending teacher workshops and finding new ways to become better at the jobs we love so much!
Also during this time our dancers are getting re-pumped as well. Their summer's are winding down. Softball season has come to a close and many of our kiddo's are itching to get back in the dance studio! Dancers who are also on their school cheer and dance teams are also kicking it hard and making us proud! Our new graduating seniors are starting down that "LAST FIRST TIME" moments. I spend quite a bit of time going over old videos, photos and memories to prepare for our senior goodbyes and slide show video we present at the end of the year. I also get myself excited for the routines that I have been challenged to choreograph for Competition and for our new Performance Team program classes. So why should I feel so blue and bummed out with our first Dance Camp for 2019 season coming up just a few days away?
I guess you could say it's been really hard to say Goodbye to our 2018 season. It was such a crazy and amazing time that I just can't believe it's over. Our dance studio has been open now for 8 long years. Also one of our first ever dancers from our first year we opened the studio will be saying goodbye to us in 2019.
Morgyne who is our new co-capt for our Emerald Company in Alma will be leaving us after this upcoming year. When she started at our studio she was just a wee little 7 year old who stole our hearts with her spunky spirit and hard-working attitude. She left the studio to explore other options in life as little kids like to do and came back 2 years ago to joining our dance family again. Together we have captured many top soloist awards including a 1st Place Overall Title this past season. But what was great wasn't the awards - it was seeing how she reacted in her first Masters Hip Hop Class and being picked out of over 40 plus dancers for the final round to perform. In that time she has truly shined and encompass all that we describe as being a true DANCE FAMILY.
Same applies for our Shambrea our Emerald Company Captain and another 2019 Graduating senior. We met Shambrea about 3 years ago after she had felt lost in a sea of dancers at a larger studio from a big city. She not only rose to the occasion as one of our best dancers but also a fantastic leader. You can always tell when she's on stage. The first solo I ever choreographed for her was entitled SMILE and that was because her smile was so infectious it literally lit up the stage!
So is it the thought of loosing such amazing dancers and kids from our Dance Family that's got me bummed out? Maybe. But I guess it's even more than that. Our lives as studio owners & coaches are constantly on DANCE LIFE time. If we're driving in a car or sitting at a restaurant and we hear a great song we automatically start thinking where we can use that song in our studio or which dancer or team can we make great choreography for to that song. We are always talking about things we remember as epic moments in our past or reflecting on times that we needed to improve as teachers. With the fact that we as a staff live together on a daily basis it makes it even harder to get away from that DANCE LIFE.
However; please don't get me wrong. I'm not writing today's blog to complain about eating, drinking, sleeping, breathing and dreaming that DANCE LIFE. I love my job. I love everything about what I do. For some reason today; knowing it's our last Sunday practice for our summer 2018 season it's kinda hard to just say goodbye.
So what can I do to get my spirits back up? I can Focus on the future. Be thankful for those who are still by my side and ready to climb that 2019 Mountain before us! I'm also looking forward to some of our Pearl Company members from our performance team start their new journey on our Competition Teams. I am hopeful that we will get to meet some new dancers who want to join our Dance Family by coming out to one of our many camps this August. YOU NEVER KNOW WE MIGHT JUST MEET THE NEXT SHAMBREA OR MORGYNE THIS SUMMER!
Mostly I can have a grateful heart for what God has blessed me and my daughters with. A dance studio full of dancers and parents who sacrifice so much by choosing our little small town dance studio. It's so hard for me to explain because if your not apart of the competition studio dance world then the DANCE LIFE can seem like a "girly waste of time" or that we are not a legitimate studio because we don't have the fancy Studio in a big city with hundreds of students. Our two studios pull between 25-40 students each year in enrollment. That's crazy huge for us because our locations are literally in the smallest towns possible! Plus in areas like Manhattan there are 5 other large studios that are much more conveniently located to potential clients from there and Wamego area. We even have dancers driving as far as 2 hours to get to our studio versus the convenience of Topeka studios that are like 30-40 minutes away. So for the small few parents we do pull from all over the northeast Kansas Area to our Alma & Burlingame studios; why do they choose us? I hope it's because we truly do our best to make every single dancer who comes through our studio feel important to us. That we have just as much interest in our Performance team dancers as we do our Competition team dancers. That they know we as a staff spend countless hours and weeks preparing in helping their children truly get all the knowledge of dance so that their kids will be able to walk into any studio big or small and get the same skills for half the price! I also hope that they have chosen to be apart of our Dance Family because we expect only the best out of all our dancers and their parents. I hope they respect the fact that we expect all our dancers to take their commitments to their teams seriously and that we don't tolerate members that don't show up to practices or have poor attitudes or can't pull the same weight as every other member is doing.
Our first summer dance camp held at the Alma studio several years ago but the same standards we upheld then we still do to this day. I guess that's why it's been hard to let some of the past go. We have gained some many amazing people in our lives because we hold true and fast to that standard and belief system. Yes. We have also lost a few because we don't play favorites or let anyone take advantage of us. We hold every person accountable for their actions and we hold ourselves to that standard as well. We never expect perfection only the desire to keep learning and growing and that our TEAM comes first before any individual. Coach Courtney had one of our dance teams write a letter to themselves during dance camp last year that talked about what the reasons were these dancers chose to join our dance family. They opened those letters 7 months later just before they went to their last competition of the year and the unique thing was that every single member had put as their number one reason they chose to join and stay at our studio is because they love dancing with their TEAM. Not one dancer put in their letter because they love competing or that they love dancing a solo. That right there says so much! Not every person who wants to join our studio teams can make it last. There are usually factors they can't control such as a financial commitment issue or the fear of missing out something with their friends outside of the studio or lack of commitment to attending practices because their over scheduled in their lives with the hundreds of other activities and sports their involved in. Then there are a few not gonna lie every dance studio has it where there are personality conflicts and in those situations I'm proud that my girls as studio owner and teachers have held fast to the belief that if you can't support your team-mates and show compassion, fairness and respect then this is not the dance studio for you. That includes showing respect to all our staff and fellow dance parents. We do not tolerate DANCE STUDIO DRAMA. We have a strict policy with our dance studios about proper social engagements and a very strong ANTI-BULLY system we instituted years ago from learning the hard way not everyone should be your best friend but everyone deserves respect.
I think that's why it has been so important for us to remember all our past to improve our future and to make it very clear to every dancer and parent who walks through our studio that we talk about DANCE SPOT 4 LIFE. That doesn't mean you gotta do nothing but dance in your life and it isn't some cheesy catch fraze we like to just yell out. It has serious deep meaning to us. It means that what we provide for your children is more than just tandus and piroettes. It means that we care more about your child's future then the plastic trophies we can stack up on our shelves. It means that every dancer is important to us and their role as members to our family is an important one no matter what team they are a member of. It means that you have helped build up our life's journey and our studio's legacy to where we continue to grow each and every year. That no matter how long you were there it made an impact of some kind and you have roots with our story. That we are sisters and brothers and mothers and dads and teachers for all time and that together we dreamed big and made miracles happen. This DANCE LIFE is so much more than vlogs we post on youtube or the hundreds of pictures we upload to instagrm. It's even more than this blog I write or the memories I hold dear. It's about each and every single person's life that we impact from minute to grand. From the audience member that watches our performance to the dancer on stage to the choreographer who willed that vision to life. It's about each other and our past, present and future. It's about you. me. and every person who believes in the same dream. So because of that intensive passion I put into my dancers and my studio and this DANCE LIFE. It's hard. It's hard to say good-bye to those who are leaving us or have left or to those super amazing accomplishments we achieved as a family and to knowing I have limited time with those whose journey's will someday soon end as they graduate and move on in their personal lives.
SO WITH NO REGRETS I SAY GOOD BYE TO 2018. I SAY THANK YOU TO THOSE WHO WERE APART OF THAT JOURNEY WITH US THIS LAST SEASON AND THE SEASONS BEFORE THAT. I SAY HELLO TO THE PRESENT OF OUR DIE HARD DANCE FAMILY MEMBERS THAT ARE STILL IN THE STUDIO EVEN AFTER THE LAST CONFETTI FELL FROM NATIONALS ON OUR HEADS. I SAY THANK YOU TO THE DANCERS THAT DON'T WANT TO QUIT WHEN THE BATTLES GOT HARD OR THEY DIDN'T WIN WHAT THEY WANTED AND ONLY PUSH HARDER TO GET THAT BETTER GOAL NEXT YEAR. I ALSO DREAM OF WHAT THE FUTURE HOLDS FOR OUR DANCE FAMILY AND I LOOK FORWARD TO ANOTHER YEAR. ANOTHER AMAZING SEASON OF DANCE ROUTINES, PRACTICES, PERFORMANCES, RECITALS, COMPETITIONS AND MASTER CLASSES-WORKSHOPS. I CAN'T WAIT TO SHARE MORE TRADITIONAL MEMORIES WITH OUR DANCE FAMILY AT OUR TEAM PARTIES AND FUN TRIPS LIKE OUR ANNUAL WORLDS OF FUN DAY! I LOOK FORWARD TO HANGING WITH DANCE MOMS AND DADS AND SHARING IN OUR EXCITMENTS TOGETHER AS WE WATCH THEIR CHILDREN CLAIM THAT HARDWORKING AWARD THEY SO WELL DESERVE! I LOOK FORWARD TO JUST CHILLING WITH OUR DANCE MOMS OVER RHINESTONING AND DANCE LIFE BULL TALKING ... AND YES SADLY; I LOOK FORWARD TO CELEBRATING ANOTHER YEAR FOR GRADUATING SENIORS AS THEY HAVE THOSE "FIRST LAST MOMENTS".... Thank you Dance Gods for making this life possible for me and for blessing me with such amazing people in my life!
MY GRATITUDE FOR THE NEW YEAR:
THANK YOU TO OUR AMAZING DANCE FAMILY... Thank you for the extra time, money and appreciation you give to us not just on special occasions like this but in everyday life. At competitions, practices, recitals and in your Dance Mom Spare time! YOU MEAN SO MUCH TO US AND WITHOUT YOU WE WOULD NOT HAVE THE SOLID ROCK FOUNDATION AND BACKBONE WE HAVE THAT CALLS US FAMILY! So our Diamond Company Dance Moms/Dads and Dancers decided to not only clean the entire Alma Studio for us they completely re-designed it; purchased us a new mylar floor, built shelves for our studio, painted walls and gave our studio some NEW LIFE! Can't wait for all our dancers to come back next weekend to see the exciting new changes! Can't wait to hang new photos of all our dance companies on our Pride Wall and I can't wait to hang up all our countless plaques and trophies from our accomplishments this past year for the world to see! Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Hearts full of pride!
FINALLY ... THANK YOU TO My girls. Courtney & Maddie - Thank you for keeping my dream alive all these years. I'm so proud of all that you have both accomplished over the years and I take full credit for inspiring that ambition to never settle for meritocracy or let yourself become a victim to your circumstances. I'm proud that you don't let your surroundings or where you came from keep you from dreaming big and achieving miraculous obstacles. I truly am blessed and can't wait to see what you have in store for our studio in 2019.
Last but not least... Thanks everyone who contributed to the past 8 years and those who are looking forward to our 9th season just as much as I am ..... LET'S #GETSUM