Owning a business is hard. Raising 3 kids is harder. I have never had anything more rewarding than either of these in my entire life to date. There have been hardships and there have been tantrums, yet I still persevere because I love them both. But how do I balance it all? How can I possibly be the best mother possible and still pay attention to my business? And vice versa? At some point, it always feels like one or the other is being sacrificed. I am by nature a workaholic; and the added challenge? I love my dancers as my own children…at the end of the day I question is there enough of me and enough love to spread around?
It’s a known fact, that you’re not supposed to mix business with personal, but as a teacher and mentor, how can you possibly detach from your students like that? Even teachers that work for me, I have an emotional connection to, because they are who I entrust the well-being of my studio with when I can’t be there. I’m probably overly open and overly honest, and they probably think I’m neurotic when I tip-toe through the class and peek through the windows, making sure they are teaching the classes exactly as I would. But it’s important! We are molding children not just into dancers, but into humans! We are role models and its crucial that we trust each other and lift each other up. We are offering them discipline and life skills that they sometimes are not always getting at home or in school. They look up to us, they value us, and when we let them down it’s crushing, to say the least.
I spent more time in my home studio growing up and in the theatre that we performed in, than I did at my family house as a teen. I had a place to go. I had a place that kept me off the streets and out of trouble. I did homework at rehearsals and took naps on the stage. My weekends were ALWAYS spent doing performances. I made some of the best friends and had the most ultimate and best times of my life. I often reference stories from my dance & theatre days in class with my kids:) If I did not have that outlet and influence, I would be a different person today. I don’t think I would recognize myself at all. I have independence, core values, confidence, and bravery from my predecessors’ influence and at a minimum, that is what I can give back to my community. The training in dance and theatre was secondary. The training in people skills and how to survive in the real world, and how to be a creative thinker and responsible individual has proven invaluable. Everyone had a place, everyone had a role:
Recent changes in my business, including its home location has created some upset and uproar with parents and staff. We have had some turn over that has left me devastated. It was not the ideal circumstance moving from Lunenburg to Bridgewater, since Lunenburg helped grow my business for the first 5 years and I had a loyalty to that community beyond what was healthy. Bridgewater has SO much to offer and is open to allowing our studio soar to the next level. We are still able to cater to not only Lunenburg and Liverpool, but to other surrounding communities as well. I have no regrets. I think I made all of the right choices and here we are, plugging along, fixing whatever hiccups there are, and cleaning and organizing systems and situations so we can start fresh. There’s no turning back now…I have built connections and relationships that I cannot and will not forfeit moving forward. I am committed to my choices and I am committed to my studio’s future, most of all I’m committed to my students.
Have I been happy with how every last step has gone along the way, absolutely not. Have people let me down, yes! But have my students made me look at the real reasons and remind me why I do this? EVERY DAY.