Compassionate Teamwork

I took a sick day this week for the first time in a long, long time. And by sick day I mean I answered a few e-mails and that was it. Didn’t even do admin work from the couch; just slept most of the day. I may get subs here and there for conflicts, overscheduling, or just plain needing an evening off, but it’s been a while since I’ve had to have my classes covered because I couldn’t peel myself off the couch. It was a crappy day (I feel better now!). IMG_6882

The best part, though, is the compassion I felt from my coworkers who filled in the gaps. A couple of teachers worked together to cover my classes and made sure I didn’t worry about a thing while they taught for me. I know that a couple of other teachers stepped up and dealt with parents and the oversight of the studio while I was out. I’m sure there were questions and concerns that needed to be addressed,  but, for the most part, they let me sleep.

While there are many other jobs in many other industries where the compassion and teamwork would be the same, I have the distinct pleasure of knowing that this staff was raised knowing the same kind of teamwork I knew. The kind of teamwork where you hurry to fix formations and cover the missing piece when someone gets hurt . The kind of teamwork where someone will meet with you on a weekend to review what you missed the day you were out sick. The studio is a place that holds you up, and the dance classroom is a place where we creatively fill in the gaps when necessary. Because of dance we can think quickly on our feet and improvise our roles when required. I’m grateful to be supported and surrounded by that kind of staff and community.

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Not Everything Goes as Planned

As dancers we are in a constant state of improvisation. Even if the routine is perfectly cleaned and practiced it’s inevitable that on the day of the performance someone is sick, someone is hurt, or the floor is too dang slippery to do that aerial in jazz shoes. What else can you do but forge on and figure it out? Improvise, fix the problem. Don’t fall apart. You cannot quit or give up just because it isn’t going exactly how you thought it might go.

Case in point: we were all set to go for our annual anti-bullying show last Saturday, Matters of the Heart. The show is out at the Zilker Hillside Theatre, and, guess what? It was RAINING. I held off and held off to make the rain cancelation call, because moving the show to the rain date meant new schedules, new rehearsals, new plans, and possibly having dancers who could no longer perform in the show. It also meant my parents and sister, who had driven in from North West Texas, would not be able to experience it. I even had my husband, Cole, drive all the way down to Zilker from Pflugerville, where we were waiting patiently with everything packed into trucks and cars, to confirm that the conditions would be much too soggy to do the show.rise up

When it came time, it was clear that my plan had no bearing on how this was going to go down. The rain not only continued, it got worse. Lucky for me, I was in the presence of 4 other dance teachers and directors who were able to help quickly amend the plan. 4 other strong women who were able to identify the possible pitfalls and problems of a new plan and help put it into action quickly and efficiently. New rehearsal schedules and call times were drawn up for the rain date, and everything is back on track for what we hope is a beautiful evening.

So whether it’s as simple as changing a lesson plan because you are missing too many dancers to set more choreography that day or having to reschedule an entire show, I’m grateful that dance continues to teach me how to persevere and keep my head up. Slap that smile on girl, because the audience doesn’t know you aren’t doing what you planned all along.

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Passing Along Teamwork

**Today’s Blog Post written by instructor Alexis Parmentier.

I heard a lot of “there is no I in TEAM” growing up.

Dance taught me about teamwork. Whether that meant trying to get along with girls I didn’t see eye to eye with, or collaborating with my peers; teamwork was a key element of being a dancer. I had many teenage girl moments where I wasn’t always feeling my best, or wasn’t always in the mood to be in the studio, but I was a team player. There was never a class that I took growing up that didn’t involve some sort of teamwork. FullSizeRender (6)

It was a choice I personally had to make. I had to choose to love and care for the girls I was on a team with. I had to choose to understand them, or try to, We were all on one company and we were all equal. We were all there because we had a passion for dancing.

This also applied to the classes I took that didn’t involve all of my company friends. I had to make the choice to love on them and be a team in each and every class.

Promptness, Respect, Responsibility, and Teamwork are just the tip of the iceberg of what dance has taught me. Dance is not only about expressing who you are, it is about learning traits and qualities that will help you bloom into a lovely young adult!

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Passing Along Responsibility

**Today’s blog post written by instructor Alexis Parmentier.

Dance taught me a lot about responsibility. Whether I was making sure I knew what my dance schedule was week to week, or knowing what I needed to wear and bring to dance, I was in charge of being responsible. Being responsible meant I needed to practice choreography at home, & also take responsibility of myself. That meant that I needed to take responsibility of making sure I was taking care of ME.

I needed to make sure I was stretching at home. I needed to make sure I was icing my feet when necessary or doing certain stretches when my body was sore. I had to make sure I was giving my body the nutrition it needed or drinking plenty of water. I needed to make sure I was taking a break from time to time, enjoying my youth. I was responsible for myself. fullsizerender-5

As time passed and I got older, responsibility grew into making sure I was at dance on time. I had to make sure I was remembering and practicing choreography even more. I needed to be responsible of time management. I had to allow time for homework and dance. I wanted to be a dancer who applied what I was learning in one of my classes, to all of my classes. I had the key to my responsibility now. Once I learned that lesson, I knew that I wanted to see responsible dancers in my classes.

“The moment you take responsibility for everything in your life is the moment you can change anything in your life.” -Hal Elrod

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