Hope that all of you had an incredible November!
When I think of everything going on lately, I realize that almost all of the events on my busy schedule are very fulfilling. So similar to last month where I found reasons to celebrate, this month I want to share reasons why I'm grateful —
1. Teaching more than just dance — Being a dance teacher means so much more than simply teaching a student to dance. For example, we make sure our dancers know the importance of eating well. While we do get to see the dance skills we teach progress before our eyes, but we don't always get to see other values we instill in action. Each year my studio participates in a local food drive, and this allows us to further reinforce positive actions. Plus, it gives us a glimpse into how our influence can help students develop beautifully inside and out. Seeing our youngest dancers proudly dropping off canned goods and the fact that they know the impact it has on nourishing another person fills us with gratitude.
2. Time with Family — Often times people who own their own business spend all of their time running that business. There is a common thought that giving up any free time is an expected trade-off to do what you love for a living. But it doesn't have to be that way! In fact, owning your own business can not only give you financial freedom, but it can give you more flexibility with your time too. Spending time with my family is something I value, and I'm proud that my work allows me to make it a priority. In the studio, I employ my sister-in-law to run the front desk (talk about a good hire!), I teach my two talented nieces (and they are class assistants with younger ages), and now that my grandson is old enough, I get extra play time with him and Annie weekly during the grown-up and me Movin' at the Zoo class. And when some people have deadlines or increased sales around the holidays, dance studios close. This allows me to be present for all our family festivities; I was even able to sneak away to Kansas to see my son and daughter-in-law's new home for Thanksgiving!
3. Space to do more — When The Ballet Studio acquired the space next door and I expanded the business to include drama, music, and preschool programs, I wasn't sure if I was ready for that major leap. But here we are with Lafayette School of Performing Arts, and I am so thankful for the ability to keep learning and doing more. This year we are not only doing an end-of-year performance, but also our older trainee dancers are doing a Christmas dance and both levels of our new triple threat program are doing a unique holiday show. All funds from the performances will be donated to St. Jude's Research Hospital, another great way for our students to give back! It has been wonderful to see how excited the dancers are to realize how their gift and talent as a dancers can help others in such a meaningful way. Our added studio space is large enough to hold these performances, so without pushing forward into this new phase of business, these worthwhile performances wouldn't be possible. The students receive more value from us, and seeing their pride in showing off what they are learning is worth it all!
Before writing this note, I didn't expect to find two common themes running through each reason I am giving thanks, but I notice that each one touches on values and pride. It makes sense that what you value and hold closest to your heart gives you the most pride though, and in turn, that gives you reason to be thankful! I'd love to know what you value and pride. Are these things filling you with thankfulness too? Please comment below!
Finally, I couldn't talk about giving thanks and not thank each one of you! Your support of Leap 'N Learn and our mission to provide the best quality dance education to young students always fills me with appreciation! So, thank you for everything you do!