I have the pleasure of teaching and inspiring dancers of all ages at the studio on a regular basis. Sometimes though, they let me in on some exciting news outside of dance: an award at school, a spot on the baseball team, a role in the play. I feel so proud of them, not only for achieving a new goal, but for even taking the time to let me know a little bit more about them personally. I'm so honoured to be a part of so many student's lives, and I take my job as a role model very seriously.
Last night, I was sorting out costumes in my office when Libby came in with a ziplock baggy, filled with $6.35. She walked right up to me and said "Here you go!" I took the bag and looked inside, thinking that she must have purchased a pair of slippers at the front desk maybe. "What's this for?" I asked her. "It's for you!" She said proudly. Confused, I then said "ok, but what is the money for?" And her answer brought tears to my eyes.
"Aislyn and I set up a lemonade stand over the weekend and this is what we raised. We want you to have it!" Shocked and surprised I looked at her innocent little face and said "Libby, that is so kind and thoughtful of you, but I cannot take your money. You earned this money yourself and you deserve to keep it!" (When I was 7 years old I was overturning couch cushions for money! I thought I'd hit the jackpot if I ever had $6 in my hand at once!)
She explained to me that her and Aislyn really just wanted to give the money to me, and I realized in her sincere little smile, that she was proud of herself. I was seeing something that I train my dancers to feel about themselves every night in class. So I decided to put the money in our fundraising pot, to one day reach the goal of getting iPads in each studio room. I gave her a big hug, and thanked her for her generous donation, and she skipped off back to class, as if she didn't even realize how much that meant.
I wanted to share this story with everyone, so you could get a glimpse of what I get to see all the time. I get to watch as hundreds of young students grow not only into beautiful dancers, but kind, beautiful, thoughtful human beings, and I'm so proud to see those things under the roof of CSOD.