Abby and I just got back from a crazy long week of conventions and conferences. This is the first time we attended Dance Teacher Web Conference and Rhee Gold's DanceLife Conference as vendors. Although we have both attended these events as dancers and teachers, it was a whole new expericence as vendors. Here are a few of my take aways.
First, I seriously love the dance community. I really, really love the dance teaching community. We are a special breed of humans. I love that the art and calling of dance can resonate with people from so many backgrounds and walks of life. This art form unifies and uplifts in ways that is truly beautiful. That beauty is magnified exponentially by teachers who inspire and share it with children and youth. I am so incredibly proud to call these people my people and belong to such a beautiful community.
At DTW Conference I was able to attend a few classes in between vendor sessions. One class I attended was Across the Floor taught by Julie Kay Stallcup. She taught some across the floor teaching techniques that I found incredibly valuable and ones that I will definitely incorporate into my classes. At the end of class she asked some reflection questions about what we learned and what we are going to take away from the session. Though I wasn't called upon to share my answer, I found myself answering anyway. What did I learn? What was I going to take away? My answer, It matters. This art we do, this thing we teach, really matters. As I sat in the room looking around at a room full of beautiful, loving dance educators I had a thought, "Prosody matters too". Not only do I want to share my art and love of dance with my students, but I want to share and uplift dance teachers too. Dance teachers are my people. I want to help them. I want to take away their frustrations. I want to provide tools and resources to make it easier to do what they love. And I will. Prosody Backstage is only the first step.
Here is a little something about me. I have anxiety. I recently started taking medication. Talking to people is extremely panic inducing. Dance in front of thousands? No big deal. Talk to one person? I want to crawl under a rock. Not a great or useful quality for pitching and selling your relatively new product as a relatively new company. In fact, during the conferences I experienced a new symptom of anxiety. Every time I got up to speak to someone I would feel like the floor is moving or dropping out from underneath me. Super fun. Yet, I talked to people anyway. As soon as I started talking about Prosody Backstage the anxiety would leave and excitement would reign. Talking to fellow dance teachers and studio owners about Prosody Backstage, and planning and managing recitals felt so good. The feedback and conversations we had were positive and validating. One studio owner exclaimed, "I had no idea something like this existed." That is because it didn't. I had an idea and Abby helped me make it happen. We have really have a good thing, and this is just the beginning.
An unexpected take away from our conference week was the support of the other vendors. The dance world is small. The dance vendor world is even smaller. Many of the vendors were welcoming and showed such kindness. There was a feeling of unity even among the vendors. The love of dance and dance education was present in the expo halls. I am truly thankful to those companies that were welcoming and kind. Thank you Akada Software, Confetti on the Dance Floor, Hamilton's Costumes, Gerriets Dance Floors, 48 Stems Fundraise with Flowers, and so many more.
Attending both of these conferences was exhausting but so worth it. Needless to say we will be back. So next time you are at a dance teacher conference. Come see us. (In the meantime, schedule a demo of Prosody Backstage.) I can't wait to meet you.