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Many moons ago I made a decision with my husband that our organization would do differently. It would be different, think differently, strive differently and provide differently…..not better than anyone else, because everyone I truly believe has a gift to give this world, just different.  We closed our Competition team and focused on making an impact with our dancers differently through our ID CompanY. While I want our dancers to win on the stage (of course !), it’s more important that my focus is beyond the art of dance. We build champions on the stage of life. There are many times even as an adult that I let what I read or what others say get to me about our decision.  Let’s be honest, even as adults we do let what others say sometimes define our worth. Well, I hope I’m not the only one who does once in a while anyway.

Then there are days when you have an incredible life experience that reminds you to stand tall in what you have created, made, and decided.  Thanksgiving was that day.  That whole experience showed me what we do matters and that we are in fact creating platinum-winning dancers, but more importantly platinum people. 

On the day of the event, our bus couldn’t get through the road closures but our dancers were ready to get the job done!  Our parents? Well, kids only model what they see and it’s no surprise that the parents were equally ready to pivot and adapt with grace, excitement, and support.

Line-up time came and you bet it! Hundreds of kids, one practice, it was pretty crazy but not our kiddos!  They knew where they were going, what they were doing, and what was expected and of course, danced beautifully! When it was camera time, they performed like champs but I think my most memorable moment was when it was time to exit they literally had to RUUUUNNNNNN.  Immediately I thought oh man, our littles! Without hesitation, without us saying a word they all turned, grabbed 2 hands, made the decision to stay as a group, and moved out of the chaos. They remained positive and excited all at the same time keeping the experience magical.   

 At that moment,  I stood back and saw what we really do differently. You see, we create not only champions but we create leaders.  Our older dancers didn’t get caught up in the excitement for themselves (which would have been very acceptable given the experience and excitement they just had), but nope.  At that point it was not about them, it was about the safety of our younger dancers and realizing that being a leader means no one gets left behind.  What good is it to get to the top of the mountain if you are standing there alone?     

So here is my affirmation.  We train beautiful dancers. We really do.  I have a dancer on tour with Pitbull, one  A-rod’s personal assistant, a whole bunch on college dance teams, ones that have become teachers, doctors, and all sorts of success stories. We have a dedicated ballet program.  We may not compete but our I.D CompanY is of equal dedication, we just choose to perform differently.  

 Our performances may not be on stage after stage but they ARE on the stage of life.  A stage that changes with every performance the same way in life you can’t prepare for everything.  Each performance must adapt and pivot much like life.  They don’t always get an announcement as an introduction but they are learning who you are and how you show up in life IS your introduction.  The real competition is not with others from another team. It’s striving to be 1% better today than they were yesterday.  A true champion takes others along for the ride rising up to be their best and always giving gratitude along the way.

So people usually ask “What are you grateful for in this season?”  Me? I am grateful for all the parents over the last 23 years that have entrusted me to coach, guide, and teach their children MORE than just great dancing.