Hello there! Don't mind me... I'm just here with my right knee propped up on pillows, wrapped in a neon pink (uh, duh) sports bandage, icing my swollen joint. No kidding, its the size of a softball. Not attractive and it doesn't feel like rainbows either. I don't do well when doctors say words like "rest" and "take it easy" and "stay off it". Uh... okay. But while I am just sitting here and can't dance, I figured I do something else I love... to write.
I love my studio and I constantly have to work hard at it every single day. Owning your own business is a monster yall... but it's a monster, I'll happily take on. My #ldptribe pretty much knows about my story but I just wanted to let the readers of our blog know a little about it too.
I've danced my whole life and have taught about half my life now. Whew! I love teaching the littles, the bigs, the in-betweens and sharing my knowledge and passion of dance with all. I always knew I loved to dance. I performed with my studio as a competition kid growing up and danced on my high school and college dance teams. I graduated with a Dance Performance Degree from East Carolina University and have danced and performed in New York City, New Jersey, and across the nation.
I've been that struggling dancer in the back not getting a step and getting frustrated. I have been the underdog having to fight my way to the front line. I have been the dancer that took private lessons just to further my ballet education. I was the one who loved hip hop and tap and suffered through my technique classes. I have been so proud when I made the audition or tryout! And I have also been so disappointed when I didn't get the gig or wasn't on the list. I've been told "You're not flexible enough", "You were our first pick", "You need more ballet", "You've been accepted", "You're just not tall enough", and probably anything else from the good, to the bad, to the ugly. And let me tell you, I feel it tenfold for my students. I KNOW how hard they work and how bad they want to be successful because I've been there. And now more than ever with my own little girly, twirly, twinkling tutu wearing toddler, I see dance in a whole new perspective. It's fun, engaging, and empowering. My hope for my daughter, like it is for all my students, is that dance brings her some joy, some confidence, and some salvation from a very cruel world that's hard to understand and to explain.
Before I started my own studio, I witnessed a wide array of situations in the industry: Instructors playing favorites, studio owners lacking knowledge in this field, teachers giving exceptions to rules and regulations for particular students, and even teachers just not teaching or copying other choreographers' work. It seemed weird to witness parents paying for dance education (which we all know dance isn't a cheap after school activity) and seeing the end result. It also seemed strange to see children and kids who loved to dance but were shoved to the back to be scenery just because they were on a different level, in terms of technique, than other dancers in their age/grade. But was that fair? I didn't think so. So these little thought buds were planted in my brain and later they developed into policies at my own studio. Like how at Legacy we place children in levels, not necessarily classes corresponding with their age and grade... like how we stay motivated as educators with a syllabus, meetings, and still continuing our own education... like how we strive to keep class size small so every child gets to feel valued, appreciated, and progressing.
Our students have gone on to do many wonderful things... I've had core dancers take the leap into the concentrated company program... I have former students that are now on university dance teams, dancing in collegiate programs and students that earn amazing awards like dance scholarships. I even have some dancers that have aspirations to be teachers themselves. MOST IMPORTANTLY, I hope my dancers gain a sense of appreciation for the art, understand everything worth having requires extremely hard work and intense focus, and go on to use the life lessons learned in dance to help them achieve whatever it is that they want.
It was a scary thing to have faith and believe I had something to offer to kids in Goldsboro. I mean, let's face it... I don't have family here... its just me and my husband and my little ballerina. I didn't get a business and/or studio handed down to me. Nothing was already built up for me and there was nothing to build upon, as far as a reputation. This is and still will be my ultimate underdog moment. So I posed myself this question... When will I feel successful? And honestly, I already do. My terms of success may not be the same as other studio owners and that's okay. I don't (won't) have 20+ students in a class, I don't (won't) put on 4 shows a year, and I don't (won't) focus on our trophies and medals. If my students feel a boost in self-esteem, have enough confidence to go for their dance dreams, and becoming decent human beings that have a good work ethic behind them... then by all means, I'm successful... and so are they.
So that's my story in a nutshell. I hope you can see my passion for dance runs deep and all I want is to share it with every dancer that walks through the doors. I want to give inspired teachers a dance home where they too can keep expanding their desire for dance. I want my students to feel proud at the fact that they worked hard no matter the end result because at least they'll be able to say "I came and I tried my very best".
I hope your dancer will at some point get to experience the Legacy difference. Summer at studio is great way to see what were all about it. More summer info will be released very soon and we can't wait. To make sure you are in the know with Legacy updates contact us here or like our Facebook page here. We CAN'T WAIT to get started dancing with you.
Until next time...