An Open to letter to Enjoy the NOW......

June 20, 2017

As I reflect on this past season I am just in complete AWE.  Yesterday, at our annual picnic I was asked “If you could describe this past Season in one word what would it be?” to be honest, I was stumped.  One word?  Impossible!!!!!  So after we enjoyed our picnic with our family (I mean seriously who else can say they have 150 people at their “family” picnic?  I CAN!) I sat on Papa and Mama Chin’s deck thinking…. and I came up with 3….

  1. Peace- Not a day went by at the studio that even on its busiest of days there was a sense of calm and peace this year that I have never felt before. I have a habit of every day without fail it hits 9:30 p.m. and the words come out of my mouth “Was everyone happy today?”.  Most of the time I was met with “Yes!”.  I mean let us face it.  Making everyone happy is impossible and for sure, we drop the ball occasionally, but even in those moments once all was said and done, there was peace.  No mama and papa bears came out this year, we all worked together and gave each other grace because lord knows in the craziness of parenthood we all need itJ.

We host LOTS of events every year for our families and at the end of each one when I asked our incredible team, “So how did it go? What could have been better? What did we love?”  I was met with, “I think this was our best one yet” OR “The kids and families seemed so happy” and the best one was always “it didn’t seem crazy every just enjoyed their time with their kids and family.”

So yes, peace……

  1. Grace- Yes, grace. Grace when as parents we needed someone to talk too. Total side note, I love seeing the kids get to together and have such amazing respectful camaraderie. When I see the parents in the waiting room stay, not to watch their kiddos dance, not to watch the class but to talk life with one another it warms my heart that we have built this place of happiness not only for kids but for parents too. We all in this together this thing called life and parenting.  When you walk by I LOVE that we don’t have conversations of where a child should or should not have been placed, or who is in what spot, or gossiping about another studio….A. It is not allowed but B. the conversations are of life, marriage, children, parents, work and just honestly LOTS OF LAUGHTER is what fills our walls.

Grace from the kids to one another.  My biggest lesson to them is you are not always going to love everyone you meet but it is important that you respect everyone.  When I see a group of almost 90 dancers ranging from 7 to 17 in our walls for Opening and Finale cheering, lifting one another up, helping each other, laughing, joking and leading I know the only thing that makes that possible is they have learned to give grace.  Grace when we have to repeat a step 400 times for the younger ones but Grace when they perhaps did not get chosen for a section they really wanted to be in but take pride in the section they were put in, totally own in and lead the other kids in it. They have accepted that maybe it just isn’t their time yet and one day it will be! Then there are others who finally after years of not in the section they wanted FINALLY are placed where they wanted to be and guess what? Nothing more than a silent smile and a little pep in their step would give away their internal happiness.  No boasting, showing off, carrying on….just GRACE.  They have learned to give grace, live with grace and most of all be full of grace.


  1. Life- When I looked back on the year and my daily notes of conversations (yes, I keep them all) I can count on one hand how many actually had to do with dance. I mean real conversations. Not when is Team Red rehearsing? What time do we have to be there?  I mean true conversations, they were all about life.  Many happy, some sad, and when it came to your children’s accolades that you would come in beaming about I would say many of days I would go home inspired! When we learn to open up and share life we teach other others how to live life.  Everyone is walking a journey we know nothing about.  I think this word was the theme of our team as well.  Many of them balanced their last year of college to only turn around the following Monday and head right back for their Masters, we had one get engaged, a few switch jobs to continue their growth, and like everyone they all had personal battles that no one knew about.  However, their strength, grace and professionalism was what they chose to show up with knowing they are helping lead and mold young minds.  My vison and mission came through in their actions.  This year more than ever I walked life with every single person in our organization.

So as I wrap up our season of “Enjoy the NOW”, I guess you can tell our organization really does not say much about dance, music or performing.  Dance and Music is WHAT we do but when you ask how I can describe a season in one word, I would have to say “WHY.” It’s about our WHY.

From Picture weekend, to Showcase Week, To Mandatory in studio and Theater Rehearsals, right up to EXTRAVAGANZA, Celebrate your Success Week to Our annual picnic… Peace, Grace and Life happened and we all got to share it with one another! If we start back at Day 1 of our season, it has always been about our WHY.

I would venture to say in 12 years this has best our best Season yet.  We were faced with challenges and overcame.  So many say the strength of a team depends on the strength of a leader.  I beg to differ…. The strength of this leader was only possible because the strength of her team. We started the year out in total blindness as we revamped how we did everything from communication, programing, scheduling, and our biggest change EXTRAVAGANZA. We did all this for one reason and one reason only, to better serve YOU.     While each season has it’s highlights and memories this one reminded me of my WHY more than ever.

This next week you won’t find me in the studio.  Actually, you may not see me until September.  My team, my precious team will hold down the fort and lord knows many days they do it better than meJ.  That does not mean AMAZING things are not in store for you, or my big visions and missions will go away it just means I’ll just take my work week down to like normal hours! We are always creating better ways to serve and this year will be no different!

My mentor told me you have years to teach another class, create another program and choreograph another dance.  You only have one chance to raise your own.  I did not listen the first time around.  Actually I hadn’t met her until a few years after. Once Baylee was born, I went right back in the trenches 6 days later and all I have are pictures.  This time I will enjoy our new bundle, my Baylee as she adjusts to life in a new way, my family and my husband.  I can’t live in the past, and I’ll plan for the future but if you’ll all forgive me, I must Enjoy my NOW.

Yes, dance and music fill our walls but really, together, we are More Than Just Great Dancing.

Capturing Memories One photo at a time….