Just the musings of a small-town professional ballerina, business owner, wife, and beagle mama as she attempts to make it through this thing called life.

May 18, 2015

recital 2015: part one

The dressing rooms have been cleaned, the hairspray has been washed out, and the costumes have been stowed away. Another year, another recital.
At the Maine State Ballet School, we have three shows: Friday at 6PM, Saturday at 11AM, and Saturday at 4PM. It's one final weekend of sequins and mayhem to top off the school year and mayhem it was. But, interspersed throughout the chaos were moments of vast clarity, moments that made me appreciate what a fantastic job I have.



Teaching dance was my first real job. Like most teens that begin work, it was time to grab a slice of independence and start paying for my own gas, clothes, and outings. I needed money. It was one of the few jobs that I could balance with dancing, going to school, and my own sanity. Teaching made me nervous for a long while. What if I wasn't any good? What if my students hated my class? What if my students' parents hated my teaching style? What if my kids didn't learn anything or improve? What if I run out of original ideas?... It went on and on really.
But somewhere along the way I found my voice and started teaching the kind of class that I wanted to take. I wanted (and still want) an energetic teacher that is funny, kind, creative, and passionate about their job and their students. So I set out to become that teacher. I stopped worrying about whether or not my students thought I was a good teacher (although their opinion does hold great merit) and started worrying about what I thought about myself as a teacher. I was always the bright-eyed and bushy-tailed student. The teacher's pet. If I liked my own class, then I was probably okay.
This recital season was the most relieving, wonderful affirmation that I was doing my job right. I witnessed my students truly become dancers on that stage this year. They used my steps as a language to convey a story and to speak their passion. They lost themselves in the dance and that is what makes me proud above all else.

The tradition of teacher presents is always looked forward to. This year was particularly nice because rather than a surplus of gift cards, chocolate, and body lotions (which, don't get me wrong, are more than appreciated), I received many letters. Students taking the time to type up or write out their own words of thanks means more to me than any Starbucks gift card. That will carry me through much more than a daily caffeine fix (and it's a lot cheaper on the part of parents!).
With profound remorse, I've decided that I won't be returning to teach at the Maine State Ballet School this upcoming fall. I'll still be dancing, I'll still be teaching at Center Stage, I just know that with my senior year approaching, I'm going to need extra wiggle room in my schedule. I also know that time to prepare myself for ballet class rather than running directly from school to work and then to class is immensely important.

It's been a wonderful journey throughout the year. Thank you Maine State Ballet and all of its wonderful students.

Stay tuned for "recital 2015: part two," coming at the end of the month as I finish out the year with the other studio I work for,  Center Stage Performing Arts.

Thank you for reading! For questions/comments you can contact me and don't forget to LIKE A Dancer's Days on Facebook and follow the Pinterest Board!

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