September 2012 | On My Mind

On My Mind Rhee GoldBy Rhee Gold
Words from the publisher

As I’m writing this, I’m heading into my fifth week of seminars at the DanceLife Retreat Center. And what I’ve discovered is that not only can dreams come true, but they can exceed our expectations.

Here’s what I’m talking about. At one seminar, a dance teacher from Scotland became close friends with a teacher from Pittsburgh. Through the seminar process they were inspired to continue sharing ideas about music and business after they went home—and of course they’ve had plenty of trials and tribulations to talk about too. They have so much in common that they’ve decided they really need this friendship.

And here’s another example: some of the teachers have brought their non-dancing husbands with them to the seminar, and they’ve headed home with a renewed sense of support for each other. The seminar helps the husbands better understand that “this dance thing” really does make a difference and that their significant others are changing lives for the better through their dedication.

Then there are the teachers who are on the brink of giving up everything related to dance because they’re burned out. Some are tired of teaching in isolation, surrounded by those who mean well but don’t understand their passion; some are worn down by difficult parents or the challenges of business competition. But something happens to them over the weekend. I’ve seen some of them become confident enough to make the changes that will bring them happiness, and I’ve seen others leave with a renewed fervor to begin anew.

Balancing out those burned-out teachers are the enthusiastic ones who come to the seminar to gain new ideas for their classroom or business. Their gusto seems to rub off on everyone around them as they send the message that teaching dance can be an utter joy.

I’ve watched teachers work together to develop ideas and concepts for future recitals. They laugh and pat each other on the back for their good ideas, overflowing with creativity and energy. They’re sharing ideas, creating together, and realizing how much they have in common.

When I saw registrations coming in from across the United States and Canada but also from Mexico, Australia, Italy, and Scotland, I wondered whether such far-flung people would have anything in common. But as it turns out, all dance teachers have similar needs and desires. School owners in Scotland have to deal with parent issues and teachers in Italy struggle with self-confidence, just as those in Connecticut or California do. No matter where we come from, we all need to communicate with other dance people. Those who come to the DanceLife Retreat Center go home with a sense that they are not alone.

For me, witnessing these life-changing moments is a special gift that I cherish. It reaffirms my belief that those who teach dance are some of the best people in the world and that the key to success and happiness is sharing what we love with those who understand it.

And that’s what it’s all about.