I’ve had coffee this morning, and we enjoyed some cresent rolls and homegrown honey. I’ve ordered groceries. Meals for the week are planned, too, so I’m hoping the order gets filled completely. Keith is assembling some new cubbies for the dance room. I’m about to finish up class planning then head off to spruce up the studio.
My dance season starts tomorrow.
You know, it’s funny. I don’t dig ditches. I don’t solve murder cases. I don’t do tedious surgeries that save people’s lives. I own a dance studio.
Some people think it’s a hobby or a side gig, not a real job. Some people think I play with children and have fun picking out sparkly costumes. Some people think I’m there solely to please them and do everything the way they think I should do it.
The reality is that I battle the economy, taxes, and supply chain issues. I take complaints and criticism from nasty people sometimes. I am offered “advice” and suggestions by well-meaning folks who think they know what I should be doing and how I should be doing it. I stretch the money I make to cover costs and put virtually all of it back into the business. I get the “it must be nice” comments. I shoulder the pressure of hearing that “whatever I come up with next” must be “better than last year”. I stay up late and work long hours planning, choreographing, building, and organizing.
That’s not all, though…
I get to see firsts – first steps in tap shoes, first pairs of ballet shoes, first applauses. I hug babies and teenagers, big brothers and little sisters, dads and grandmothers. I wipe tears, I hear problems, and I mitigate stress. I share music, watch eyes light up, and hear dozens of little hands clapping. I watch children run, arms open, toward my staff. I watch my team grow, both as individuals and as a group.
The coolest part, and perhaps the hardest? I meet new, eager little faces. I welcome in new teenagers with lots of hopes. I get to know new moms. And I get to say goodbye. I watch them finish a year, then choose cheerleadering. I give them years of awards and over-the-top stage experiences then wish them well as they make their way towards gymnastics or soccer seemingly out of the blue the next year. I love them for years and years then cry in the wings the year they graduate. I have the honor of being part of a child’s life for a short time.
This season will be no different. I am no longer blissfully ignorant about all that comes with dance studio ownership. I have seen plenty, heard it all, and experienced the feels.
But here I sit preparing. Here I sit anxious and excited, hopeful and optimistic, ready to create magic and spread joy despite the harshness that will no doubt come.
I’m not sure I’m ready, but it’s here! I’m about to finish filling in this calendar, reflecting on my goals, and preparing my mind and heart. Then I guess I’ll brush my hair, throw on some clothes, and go get the place ready for tomorrow.
Prayers for a good season. Prayers that I’m surrounded by kind people with precious hearts. Prayers that we are safe, free from injury, and strong in spirit. Prayers for creativity, resourcefulness, and fortitude. And prayers that anything less than all those things is cast out, removed, and restored.