As we get ready to start a new dance season I am feeling many things because this time of year always means change. You start learning new routines, new solos, and start new classes. New people join your team and people you have danced with for years move on. Some of them are off to college, some of them decide to join their High School Poms Teams, and some of them decide to go to another studio.
I will miss my favorite routines from last season. I will miss my solo, but most of all I will miss the people. No matter why they leave I will miss all of them, but it makes me sad when dancers leave to go to another studio. I know that few dancers stay at the same studio forever, but it is still hard to say goodbye to friends, especially when you have come to think of them as family. This will be my eighth season at my studio and my sixth season on Company. I have never wanted to leave. Things are not always perfect, but it is my home and my family. It is where I became the dancer that I am. It is where I know my teachers and they know me. It is where I know I am supported and valued. I am more than just a number. It is not always perfect, but I do not think that any studio is. There will always be something you wish you could change, but there also the things that you love there and that make it home.
My mom taught me the expression, “The grass is not always greener.” I had no idea what it meant, but she said that it means that although something looks good from the outside, once you are there it may not be a great as you thought it was going to be…or something like that. I think that a lot of people who switch studios a lot are always looking for something “better” that probably does not really exist it may just look like that from the outside. You may like some things at the new studio better, but there will also be new things that you don’t like. That is just part of life. They do not know you and hope you came to be the dancer that you are. They do not know your strengths and the challenges you have overcome. No place is perfect all the time. I believe that dancers want their studios to be dedicated to them as a dancer, but that is really not possible if you keep moving around. How can they focus on you and be dedicated to you if they do not know that you are dedicated to them?
Sometimes change is good, and I totally understand that. My brother switched schools because he was being bullied at his old school. I switched schools so I could go to an arts school and focus more on dancing. These changes were for the better. I also know that change is just a part of life and that people move on. I just ask that dancers ask themselves why they are moving when they start thinking of changing studios. Think not only about yourself but also think about the people you are leaving. They think of you as family and your decision affects them too. Think about what you are leaving behind and if you still decided to leave, at least you know you are doing it for the right reasons.