DLTCI just returned last night from five days in beautiful (but hot) Scottsdale, AZ at the Phoenician Resort for the Dance Life Teachers Conference. Even as I write this post I am getting choked up thinking about all the people I met and stories I heard. If you are a dance teacher and have not been to this event – GO. Sign up now! They are doing it at the same place next summer. I came back with so many great ideas to put into effect for our dance program – no only to make my business a better business, but to be a better teacher to the children whose lives I am a part of every week.

This conference was started by Rhee Gold – the Oprah of the dance world.  He has brought together a group of leaders in dance community that impart their business and education expertise and experience on 800+ dance educators during a five day conference.  I got to hear presentations and participate in classes lead by instructors that specialize in teaching children with special needs, preschool children, tweens, teens in all genres of dance and performing arts.  I got ideas on marketing, customer service, social media, implementing charity work into our program and classes and camps I never thought about offering.

I also met a young teacher, Theresa, whose story touched my heart.  After attending the workshop last year she began her drive home.  She was involved in a collision with a semi and she is now in a wheelchair.  She has been in physical therapy since last October and is still learning how to walk again.  When I met her she was in the pool for the first time since her accident.  Despite this heartbreaking story, she was smiling and laughing.  So much so that I didn’t even know she had an injury.  It wasn’t until I saw her getting out of the pool with crutches and her chair nearby that I asked her what happened.  She told me she was so happy because today she realized she could swim.  And she is not giving up.  She is still going to conferences and taking steps to be the best teacher to these little kids that she can be.

There is no excuse.  Everyday I want my students to leave class and get in the car and say, “Mommy, I love dancing.”  I want to continue to learn from these inspirational people.  I am so grateful there is an environment where we can come together with people with a common goal.  We have to enjoy the journey.  What a gift we have been given!


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