I am a very lucky person, there are few people who find a career that makes them truly happy. I am one of those lucky few that have. Dance has been in my blood since I was a little girl. From the very first dance class I took at the age of four, I knew deep in my heart that this is what I wanted to do forever. Every choice I made in life put me on the path of being a choreographer. I worked so hard for what seemed forever to be the dancer that I am today. I never wanted to be on stage, I wanted to be behind the scenes making the performance on stage spectacular. However, being a performer is a prerequisite for being a choreographer, because how can I teach some how to dance on stage if I have never done it? Besides, every dancer needs to know the feelings and the rush of being on stage in front of an audience. It is like nothing else.

On the other hand, for me, I love the rush of watching the dancers that I have instructing for months going out on stage and performing their hearts out. It’s like a sports coach watching the players win a game. Knowing that you were the one that brought it all together is a exhilarating feeling. Watching your dancers from the side stage, seeing them dance the moves that you have taught them brings a rush that matches nothing else. One of my instructors that I had early on made me want to be a choreographer, he was such an inspiration. He made us all feel like we could accomplish anything that we set out to do. He inspired in us the drive that is needed to be to be the best we can and to keep going once we thought we were there. That is what I wanted to do. I wanted to inspire as many people as I could to dance. There is really no other art out there like dance, to move your body in ways that tells a story is one of the most beautiful things that has been created in this world.

I am very fortunate to have found dance and to have talent in it. Talent is as important as passion is, you can all the passion in the world but if you don’t have the talent than you are not going to go far. The reverse is true as well, you can have all the talent in the world but if you have no passion you are not going to get very far either. They go hand in hand, one is not more important than the other. With passion comes drive, you need drive and motivation to get where you want to go. You also need tough skin to be in this competitive world. There has been many times where I have cried my eyes out from rejection. I have been rejected more than I have been accepted, that is just how it works, you just can’t let it get you down, you can’t let it beat you.

Thanks everyone for sticking around and listening,

Maria

I love my job so much, I take such a joy in teaching others heart of dance, that I try to instill in them the same passion that I have. Some take that passion and run with it and strive to be the best they can, while others can never grasp that passion. To give the latter some credit, they are here as hobby and not a career and that’s fine, I will teach them just the same. I have mention before that I try to get all of my students to participate in some sort of show at the end of the year, I think that this is an excellent to get people to work hard throughout the year so they can show off everything that they have learned. No matter the reason that my students are taking lessons, they all love the end of year show.

To show my students how much I appreciate all their effort I throw my own party for them every summer. i rent a hall and have it catered. This passed year I even rented a photo booth, I have never had one at my party before and I am fairly certain that I will have one every year from here on out. It was the hit of the party. I had other things to entertain my students but the photo booth took the cake. There was always a line for it. I even had the name of my school on each photo and the date of the party. The company that I chose brought a bunch of props and since I not only have my students but their families as well, I was impressed that there were things for all ages. I was so happy with the outcome of the party that it made me wonder what I had been thinking in the past by not having one.

Along with loving what I do for a living, I also love my students, without them this wouldn’t be possible, so I love having this end of year party for them, it is my way of showing them how much I appreciate them. In my experience I have found that it is much better to show appreciation when motivating people to do their best, people will feel more passionate about what they are doing and will do so with everything they have. They do this because they know that their efforts are for more than reaching an end goal, there is no end goal when you are trying to be the best you can be. I have seen some instructors, I have even had some instructors that will use yelling and degrading to get students to be the best. This only last to a point because it doesn’t make the student put effort in for themselves, they put in the effort to placate the instructor and if that is your motivation then there is no point in even participating. After having countless instructors with this mind set I vowed to never be one.

Thanks,

Maria

This past Saturday my husband and I attended a wedding in West Bloomfield, Michigan.  The wedding was pretty well put together.  The food was great, music wasphotostrip-west-bloomfield awesome and they had a pretty cool photo booth. West Bloomfield, MI is a fairly small, upscale town in Michigan and the venue was reflective of that.  I am throwing up this post because there was a really funny moment from the reception that I thought you all might find amusing.

The photo booth opened at around 7pm. After the drinks got flowing the bride decided that she wanted the photo booth attendant to come to the dance floor to bust a move with the wedding party. The attendant informed the bride that she was the only person that could allow him to leave his station to go to the dance floor.  She gave her blessing and the attendant literally ran out to the dance floor and started the most dead serious break dancing that I have seen in a long time.  It was absolutely hysterical!  The attendant kind of looked like the type of guy that spends his weekends playing WOW or D&D but I guess looks can be deceiving because this guy seriously had some moves. With in 15 seconds he had the entire crowd huddled around him while he spun and jerked all across the dance floor.  Then less than 60 seconds later he bowed to the crowd and ran around getting high fives from everyone and walked back to his station at the photo booth.  It was very amusing I must say.  That story is probably something I will not soon forget.   The take-away really is that you should not judge a book by its cover.

Speaking of the photo booth…. I really like the style of prints that they used.  Instead of the small 2×6 strips, they used the 4×6 like the one I have in this post.  They were more like postcards than they were photo strips.  They printed out two copies of every picture and glued one in a memory book which we were able to sign with a special message. The one thing that was missing was the ability to create video messages.  From what I have heard, video messaging is pretty common place now a days but this booth did not have that ability.  I guess it isn’t that big of a deal but I would think that when spending $600 that you would get the latest technology included.

Overall, the wedding was a great time.  I did not get a ton of time to dance because I helped with some of the food set up and music set up but of course I made time to get on the floor for a couple group dances that everybody hates but does them anyways. Hope to see you back soon!

 

So in my studio that I have we have six rooms for lessons and my instructors have a wide range of skills so I’m able to teach classes from beginning to the expert level. I even do random classes for people who just want to learn how to dance without having the pressure of performing but to just better themselves or learn a new skill. I love teaching younger students the basics of tap and ballet because of the looks on their faces when they finally get is priceless.

I also teach ladies who just want to learn dance style likes to swing or flamenco or ballroom or whatever it is that they want to learn. Sometimes if I have time I will even do private lessons but for these random classes that I teach I prefer to have at least six or seven students in the class that helps to make it worthwhile for my instructors. If there’s a demand for it I’m going to provide it for my students. For all my girls that are just starting out to the ones that are in high school I will have a recital for them at the end of the school year. I also encourage my girls to compete in competitions, I have all of them register and do that for all of their classes that they want to compete in, this helps them by letting them know where they stand and what they need to improve on.

The world of dance is cutthroat, you have to be able to compete and take rejection well because you’re never going to get picked first and you are always going to have to tryout a couple of times before you will get picked, granted there will be times that you are picked first but more times than not you won’t be. For my older ladies I always have them strive to work towards a goal if I can get it figured out I will get a plan where I will have them perform for an audience, this keeps them honest about how well they perform during class. Some years I have even rented out a hall and put up fliers and advertise for my ladies to put on shows, it’s always good to have a goal to work toward throughout the year because it makes people try harder to be the best that they can. I want all of my girls to take their lessons seriously and to strive to be the best but I also want them to have a good time doing it because it’s not fun it’s not worth doing.

 

Our latest dance company sponsor has really come through for us. If you are looking for a plumber in Canton, MI please look these guys up. Thanks all for sticking around!

Maria

I attended Western Michigan University because they have one of the best dance academy’s in the country and I danced for Western my whole college career. In my dance school growing up I always competed in the many competitions that my school sent me to. I knew I was good because I won lots of competition but it was really humbling not making the squad at Western I was kind of getting nervous there for a while.

But I did make it and I was so proud and so happy because I knew that I was gonna learn so much more than being in the school in my home town, but it took me three tryouts to make the school at Western. What I really wanted to be was a teacher of dance or a choreographer, I mean it is fun and exhilarating being the actual dancer but it is so much better being the brain behind the operation. Choreographing a routine and watching the talented dancers play out your design is amazing and nothing beats that. It was the day after my whole life changed that being the one that was on stage dancing out the routine of the choreographer I needed a change, I wanted to be the one behind the stage watching my girls perform.

Once I graduated, my goal was to own my own dance studio and I work as hard as I could and saved as much money as I could and now I do my own studio. I have classes for all ages from four-year-old girls just starting out to ladies in their 60s and 70s who need something to do during the week. It is one of the most rewarding things I think I’ve done my entire life. I have six studios in the building and seven other instructors other than myself. This is what I have now, but I started off with one studio and two instructors including myself. I never gave up on myself or my dream and I worked so hard for that it almost seems like a dream or that I am looking at some one elses life.

This is all I have ever wanted to do with my life and I could not be any happier that I gave myself the chance to do it. If I could give any of you advice, it would be to never give up on yourself, if you keep striving your will keep achieving!

Thanks all for sticking around, Maria

 

 

 

I started dancing when I was four years old and my first classes were tap and ballet. Every young dancer starts out with tap and ballet.  My most favorite thing at that point in my life was putting on my little black leotard, my pink tights and my dance shoes. I thought it was one of the greatest things in the world that I could make those noises with my shoes. We started with one class every week when I was young and then I would always be in one number in the recital and that was always the greatest time of my life to be in that recital.  My family would come and watch me and cheer for me and be so happy with me when we were done.

As the years went on in my abilities became sharper I added on more classes to my weekly schedule. The dance school that I attended had strict regulations on when you were able to add on more classes. You had to be a certain age and it was up to the teacher whether she let you add another class. My guess would be because they didn’t want to overwhelm you when you were too young to be able to handle all of these dances. So as soon as I was able I added on dance class after dance class after dance class. By the time that I was a senior in high school I had seven routines for the recital. I had tap, jazz, ballet, lyrical and point and then I was in part of the opening number and part of the closing number. Dancing has been a passion for as long as I can remember and I will continue to dance for the rest of my life or for as long as my body will let me. I have even been in some musicals not so many because I’m a terrible singer but quite enough that I’ve gotten stage practice with plays, that way I could dance in the background which meant that no one would be able to hear me sing because I usually just move my mouth or whispering the words because I’m seriously a terrible singer.

Dancing is one of the most beautiful ways to express yourself, it is an art form is not meant for everyone. For those who are truly talented it is one of the most rewarding things that you can do with yourself. For all you parents out there with little girls are little boys that want to take dance lessons I highly encourage you to encourage them to do so for as long as they want.  For the joy that you feel when you get done with the routine and the audience stands up and claps for you is one of the greatest natural highs you can ever achieve. That’s all for now and until next time dance your heart out!