A memory from Pure Dance 2020 popped up on my Facebook feed. It was the last dance event we held before we were shut down completely …and our lives all turned upside down. Firstly – if you are wondering… yes, we will be doing Pure Dance Chicago again, secondly – it got me reflecting over the last year.
It’s really amazing the difference a year can make.
So… my question to me….”why don’t I take advantage of each and every year WITHOUT needing a pandemic to shake me out of complacency?”
This bizarre year of shutdown feels, simultaneously, like no time has passed, and that 10 years have passed. It feels, oddly, like I did nothing for a year, and when I saw the Facebook post, I was amazed that just one year had passed.
The journey of the studio alone was mind-boggling. Its survival was a process that literally took a village. EVERYONE went over and above…
- our team put in crazy efforts to shift and adapt, while cutting every cost possible.
- our landlord let us owe her part of our rent.
- our students stepped up – paying for lessons in advance, outright donating money, and coming up with ideas to help out.
- our front desk team took full-time positions elsewhere to support themselves and free up studio funds (we miss you).
- we contracted out answering phones and email responses to a dancer’s mom in Louisville: a win-win scenario.
- our instructors took on other jobs (within AND outside the studio), cut their pay, and even worked for free!
- we applied for (and got) both rounds of PPP and two grants.
- a small group formed a not-for-profit (Creating Spaces Foundation, NFP) to continue to apply for grants to offset the excessive overhead costs that movement artists incur to have the space they need.
And that was just the studio!
but there’s more…
For me personally… my 30 day ‘Tell Your Truth’ challenge from early in the pandemic turned into being a part of a bestselling Amazon book, ‘Unstoppable Women’, which is filled with amazing, inspiring stories of women across the globe. Writing the posts, and the book, opened two doors: one within me, and one outside.
Internally, I finally allowed my Dance with Life work (collecting inside of me for the past 25+ years) to come out and play and have a voice. I’m now helping people unlock their potential using the fundamentals and concepts of partner dancing – we’re up-leveling exceptional to extraordinary. 🔹
Externally, I partnered with a friend in Canada to work with the Canadian government, corporations and entrepreneurs. I’m applying my expertise in movement arts, education and business to help leaders shift into a healthier way of doing business – we’re decreasing stress while increasing longevity, engagement and productivity.
I looked at today’s memory and I thought – ‘REALLY?’
What’s it all mean?
Prior to the shutdown, I had not put one thing from the above paragraphs into action. And that was just the business side of my life! Hindsight is 20/20. There are plenty of woulda, coulda, shoulda moments over the year and I’m amazed at the progress regardless. What I really learned, what I now viscerally understand, is how much more powerful holding the vision for where I’m going is than holding on to the past, or micromanaging and despairing over any current situation.
- I set a vision for myself.
- As a team, we set a vision for the studio.
In both cases, we held the vision and kept adjusting to the bumps in the road that showed up. Looking back, what unfolded was truly magical.
The world is speeding up. And the wonder and blessing of it is the proof that ANYTHING is possible. I reflect over this past year with a bit of awe, a lot of learning and an abundance of gratitude.
I hope you have experienced at least some magic come out of the challenges of the past year.
I’m SO looking forward to seeing all of you again – dancing and connecting, in-person. The studio is almost fully back on its feet. We’ve expanded to include virtual offerings. We are open for private lessons and group classes. We are holding dance parties, and we know for sure that Pure Dance Chicago is most certainly happening again, so stay tuned.