Recently, I was able to attend two seminars with my mom for her dance studio, AMA Dance & Music School; one was about the business end, and the other dealt with things in the classroom. The first seminar was two days in Chicago and the second was four days in Arizona.
Being given the opportunity to go to two totally different seminars was a really good thing for me. I got a lot out of the business one because I got to learn a lot about what it is like to run a business and all the struggles people go through. I learned about money and time management, things that work, things that don’t, what you should do in certain situations, what you shouldn’t.
I learned that even when things majorly go wrong, there are ways to make them right, or at least make the best out of the situation. The second day of the seminar was the day after the horrible storm we had a few weeks ago and the hotel had no power. The speaker went on as though he always did speeches in the dark, a flashlight being the only source of light, and no air conditioning in a humid room full of hundreds of people. He cracked jokes, and despite the audience basically feeling blind, it was a fun seminar. I learned that the way you react to horrible circumstances really plays a role in what you can get out of them. (Because of this seminar, my mom has let us sit in on interviews for potential staff members at her studio so we can learn what we should and should not do while being interviewed.)
It was great to be in an environment where everyone did the same thing and had been in the same situations I’d seen my mother in; difficult parents, difficult teachers…and everybody shared a love for dance, which was really cool.
The dance teacher seminar in Arizona was way better than I could have ever imagined. It went from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily and had a variety of classes and talks to attend. There was every type of dance there and I loved it all!
I think it was extremely beneficial for me to do something like this at such a young age. I was in a room with a bunch of teachers who took master classes in college and have been dancing years longer than I have, and for the most part I was able to keep up and blend in. I acquired knowledge about myself as a dancer, as well as new teaching techniques and how to run a class.
I got to take classes with a big name in the dance world, Joe Tremaine, and I cannot even express how much I got out of it. He taught three different jazz classes. The room was packed, leaving no space on the floor to stretch and warm-up, therefore I contemplated going somewhere else or sitting out; but thankfully I didn’t. He did a lot of down-the-floor exercises where only six people would be going at a time, which made it a lot less crowded. I am not good at picking up steps, and he taught it only a few times before you had to do it with the music which I was not used to. The style of his jazz was much different than any I had ever done before, but it was so much fun! Even though I messed up a lot, I tried, and I realized that I was not the only person who was lost, as was a third of the rest of the class (I know that another person’s confusion shouldn’t be reassuring, but it was).
The days were long and tiring and I have never danced for hours and hours straight, and my body didn’t know how to deal with it. I felt like I pulled every muscle in my body, and could barely walk the night of day one; it was horrible! I had never felt so sore in my life. But, I learned that I need to stretch daily if I wanted to be able to keep dancing for hours a day.
I love dance with all my heart. I am unsure if I want to make it a career, but it’s not anything I would like to give up anytime soon. At the seminar, I learned that I could take different dance classes in college and participate in them with school, even if it is not something that I want to major in. I could even perform in a dance company, if I wanted to, just for fun.
Being exposed to these seminars no doubt has opened my eyes to things I never would have thought of or done on my own and for that I am extremely grateful. Normally, I am surrounded by a bunch of teenagers at school and lots of little children at the studio, but at the seminars I was surrounded by adults, which meant I was treated like an adult. That was a nice change from what I am used to.
I loved going to these seminars and hope that I get the chance to go again. When you get the opportunity to be exposed to things like this at a young age like myself, it gives you a unique experience and perspective over those who haven’t. Many adults said how lucky I was and that they wished that they had learned what I was learning at my age. I know I am truly lucky to have had this opportunity.