Back in mid-March I sat with my head in my hands.
We were in the middle of a “three week” school closure and I was watching dance competitions state by state “call it” as counties and cities around the countries lowered their assembly size limits.
At Misty’s Dance Unlimited, we had already transitioned our classes online, but I was looking out FURTHER. I was doing the “recital math” eight weeks out. The CDC had just put out a recommendation to keep assembly sizes under 10 until May 8th. Our recital was scheduled to be the weekend of May 15-17… just one week after that precarious date.
I knew that NOBODY was ready for the big event to be canceled, but I also knew there was NO WAY we were going to go from assembly sizes of 10 to an audience of 1,000. There was simply no way.
So eight weeks out from the recital, I did the unthinkable for a studio owner. I canceled all of our shows and started “re-imagining recital” from the ground up.
I never thought I would be in such a position. Like nearly all other small business owners I know, I was having to make decisions about things that had never even crossed my mind … ever.
Fast forward to now, and just a few weeks ago we wrapped up our season with a week of Virtual Recitals. Our families blew it out of the water! From special DIY backdrops to congratulatory cookie cakes, they went all out celebrating their children and this phenomenally challenging time.
Last week, we did another new thing by launching our Red Carpet Recital Experiences … “Personal Recitals” where every child is the STAR! We put on all the trimmings of a traditional show including a stage, photos, music, lights, teachers, and backdrops, plus ACTUAL red carpets and celebration treats! And on the first day, we did it 36 times!
Our team, led by Miss Shayna on this project, has absolutely knocked it out of the park. Like home run after home run.
No, it’s not our normal SIX recitals. It was more like 300.
300 personal, special, movie-star level recitals. And we would set it all up again even if it were just for ONE kiddo. Because every kid IS a star!
In mid-March, I couldn’t have fathomed what a virtual recital would be like, let alone personal red carpet recital experiences. As we dipped into the soup of uncertainty and the possibilities seemed to crumble all around us, I found myself wondering what in the world we could possibly do if there wasn’t a traditional recital. I couldn’t have pictured the absolute JOY of watching our students be celebrated in these unique ways … and now that it’s here, I can’t picture anything else!
I have so much GRATITUDE for our MDU students, parents, and staff who have made every pivot turn with me on this journey. The adventure continues, but for now, it feels amazing to have reached the point where our dancers have finished strong and proven what superstars they are.
Whatever your “wrap-up” is right now, I hope it’s giving you the same clarity: This chapter is complete and now it’s time for the next one. If we can get through what we’ve gotten through these past few months, we can get through anything. <3