It’s Always for the Kids
Back in February, I trained 500 studio owners, managers, and industry vendors at Studio Owner University®, an event we made virtual this year for safety. The virtual platform turned out to be even BETTER than I could have imagined. I swear you could feel the buzzing of the energy through the computer … or maybe that was my extra coffee kick. HA!
We’ve never held an event of that size until now. It was seriously incredible. We shared the virtual stage with presenters like our MTJGD Certified Coaches, vendor sponsors, and our keynote speaker, Heather White of Trillfit. We held sessions on SO MANY educational topics, ranging from pivoting performances to summer sales to smart budgeting—and tons more! We had vendor appointments, “extra credit” sessions, and add-on days for our Executive members and a Masters Day deep-dive. We even had a social hour with games and prizes (because you can’t have a conference without a party, right!?).
But it was at the end of one day, when we had wrapped up at 8pm, when I was reminded WHO the real benefactors are of this essential education.
The daughter of our accountant had stayed at the office with her mom. This little girl, Adalyn, set up her own conference, complete with a drawing of me on a whiteboard, so she could “watch” the sessions just like the grown-ups. (She even created her own vendor appointments!)
Seeing Adalyn that evening made me tear up. THIS is why we do the work we do, I thought, because behind every screen at SOU is a child who receives services from one of our More Than Just Great Dancing!® affiliated studios—a child with their own ideas and dreams and gifts and talents. A child whose potential can be fostered. A child who needs to hear, “I’m proud of you!” and “You can do it!”
Thousands upon thousands of kids are positively influenced by our dance studios. This positive influence has always been at the heart of MTJGD’s mission—that certainly hasn’t changed—but the sheer importance of it, well, I believe that HAS changed. It has been magnified. For so many children, dance is a lifeline. It is community and comfort and expression. It’s more than an art form; it’s more than a pursuit to excellence. It’s life-GIVING.
Adalyn reminded me of all this, with her creativity shining and her confidence on full display. She reminded me that our kids need the freedom to think and do and problem-solve … and they need deliberate encouragement. This can then have a cascading effect through their families and into their communities. Our kids are full of so much possibility!
Back at SOU the next day, I felt such a renewed sense of purpose. Every morning I say a little prayer of gratitude for the opportunity to coach other business leaders and to help them achieve what success looks like in their lives. And while I’m always thinking of ways to connect those dots back to our kids, sometimes I need a personal reminder. <3
Then and now, I am thankful that what we do as studio owners always circles back to serving our students. It keeps us grounded and gives us motivation. It gives us PURPOSE. And I think it’s fair to say it was the ultimate reason why we had such a successful SOU this year—because our work MATTERS. Because studio owners and managers and vendors from around the world raised their hands to collectively say, I want to improve my own education so I can create a deeper impact. Because our kids are worth every effort.
And so here is my extra encouragement to YOU in all this: On the days when it’s hard, when you are digging in to the work of reimagining your programs, restructuring your tuition, reevaluating your expenses, rearranging your team, or any number of other pivots, remember that ripple effect out to your students. Remember that this calling chose YOU.
P.S. Adalyn, you’ve got a BRIGHT FUTURE! Keep dreaming! <3
P.P.S. If you have been thinking about joining More Than Just Great Dancing!® please get in touch with us HERE! We’re ready to help you thrive in 2021 and beyond!