Country Concert Nights

Country Concert Nights

My life's been a country song; it's been the words when I couldn't find 'em, a friend when I've been alone, it's been the toast to things to remember, and the strength for movin' on.
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“Had no excuses for the things that we’d done. We were brave, we were crazy, we were mostly young” Some of the best nights of our lives are standing on the grass with thousands of strangers all singing the same song (like the one above), dancing our lives away without a care in the world.

Country concerts give us an escape from reality. They give us a place that we can forget about the paper we have to do before Monday, the terrible relationship we just got out of, the bills we have to pay, and anything else that causes us stress.

Country music makes us feel good. The songs are things we can connect to. It helps us know that we aren’t alone in how we are feeling; other people feel the same way too. The music helps us feel better about ourselves and enjoy life more.

Concerts allow you to just open up and let loose. You sing songs with your best friends and even people you have never met. You dance to the songs you play on the radio on repeat. The live music really makes you feel alive.

Country music lets you connect with people. There is something about thousands of people singing the same song on a dark starry night that makes you all connect. It makes you feel good to be an American and it lets you know that it is good in the world and in the end, we are all just people.

Country concerts allow you to find yourself. They clear your mind and allow you to truly discover who you are without all the stress of the world. They allow you to be you! Be young, wild, and free! When country concerts clear your mind, you are able to think more logically after them. They sometimes even help you make the hardest decisions of your life.

Let’s not forget to mention the country singers. The country singers make you feel so special. The country music family is so big but feels so small. The country singers really truly care about you. They appreciate you spending the time with them, and they love how we all get into the music. They write the music to help us feel good about ourselves and to help us get through life. Country music singers are still people just like us; they relate to how we feel, and they were once like us listening to country music on a lawn.

Country concerts hold thousands and thousands of memories for people. These memories help people get through the following week and help them learn to love life more. If the grass at those concerts could talk, oh what would it say. It would have some of the best stories to share.

Country concerts are the best nights of my life. They make me feel so happy and alive. I look forward to them all winter long. I am a country concert junkie. because they make you feel so special in ways you can’t find anywhere else. I wouldn’t want to spend my summer nights anywhere else but on the grass, under the stars, listening to live country music.

As life keeps going and things begin to change in our lives, one thing will always remain - the feeling we get when we go to a concert. The feeling we got from a certain concert. The concert ends, but the memories last a lifetime. We look back at old pictures and can tell exactly what concert we were at, who we were with, and the way it made us feel. The concerts just keep making us feel good long after its gone.

Country music is music from the heart. It changes our lives forever and country concerts are some of the best nights of our lives. Go ahead and go to a concert and lose yourself in the music, dancing, and singing.

Cover Image Credit: Kendall Gatewood

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A Letter To My Dancers

Everything your dance teacher wants you to know.
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When anyone (especially a child) chooses to invest their time, talent, and passion into dancing, it's nothing to take lightly. These kids spend more time with me at the studio than they do at home with their parents. Before long, they're my "kids," too. When I only have an hour to lead a warm-up, teach choreography, and rehearse a number, there isn't much time to express the thoughts and feelings I'd necessarily like to. Being a dance teacher is the most spectacular and rewarding job - and I want my students to know that. Between the great rehearsals and the frustrating ones, the competitions and recitals, and the endless hours we spend together each week, there are just a few reminders I need to share with them.

Dear Dancers,

Please love yourself and love what you do with every ounce of your being. Do it with so much passion that your heart wants to burst. Dance is the most special thing; it's something we are privileged and lucky to have, so don't take it for granted.

Please believe in yourself. You are worthy. You are talented. You are strong and capable of everything you set your mind to. Strive to be the best version of yourself every day, not the reflection of the girl next to you. Dance like you. Move like you. Experiment and find what makes you, you. Be an individual. Trust me when I say I don't want 20 carbon-copied robots. I want you.

Trust that I have your best interest in mind. Sometimes my choices and decisions won't make sense, you might be confused, hurt or frustrated, but keep the faith that I'm on your side. I don't want to see you fail, and I'll do everything in my power to help you find the success you're looking for.

I want you to succeed, but for me to do that, you need to tell me what you need. Do you need the counts again? Do you need me to review the transition to floor one more time? If you understand, tell me. If you don't, tell me that, too. Be vocal, be present, be smart, and be prepared. Practice on the sides. Pay attention to the small details. Ask questions. Don't be late, and definitely don't forget your choreography. Take responsibility for your responsibilities and lead by example. Do you have any remote idea how many children look up to you? Who want to be just like you someday? Dance just like you? Kids watch, listen, and copy. Make sure the behaviors you're teaching them are behaviors you're proud of.

Make memories with your dance family while you still can. Cherish every 9 a.m. Saturday morning rehearsal, every competition you attend, every fundraising event, and every team sleepover. It'll be gone so fast. You're going to miss these days. Please, enjoy them.

Don't compare yourself to other dancers. You are you, and nobody can do "you" better than yourself. Don't wish away your abilities by secretly wishing you had Suzie's feet, Betsy's port de bras, or Charlie's center. The only thing you need to worry about is being a better version of yourself than you were the day before. You are your only competition, so don't be too hard on yourself. Be kind to your mind and body. You work day in and day out to perfect your craft and artistry. You work to mold and create yourself. You'll be rewarded with time if you keep fighting and don't give up. Usually when you want to throw in the towel, it's after you don't get the part you wanted or you don't make the team you hoped to. What you need to understand is the answer isn't "No," the answer is "Not yet." You know you're trying and working hard, and those efforts don't go unnoticed -- even if it seems they are.

Please, remember that it's not going to always be fair. You're going to be let down, and you're going to feel disappointed from time to time. You're not always going to win the trophy. You're not always going to get the featured solo part, and not everyone can be the front row and center dancer. This doesn't mean you're "bad" and this doesn't mean you're not "meant" to dance either.

Quite frankly, it's just how it works, you guys. It doesn't mean I don't like you, and it doesn't mean the dancer who does have the solo is my favorite. The dancer just might be more talented. Yeah, I said it. They might have better lines, straighter knees, or stronger stage presence, and that is entirely okay. You're going to run into this for the rest of your adult life. Someone is going to be smarter, more qualified, more desirable for a particular job or position. So instead of despising and resenting these dancers (and especially me), try to learn from them instead. You'll learn more from each other than you could imagine. But if you take away one thing from this, know that you are still worthy of my best training, my best analogies, my best choreography -- whether you are featured, in the third row, or even off-stage for the turn section.

As your teacher, it's my job to teach. Learning (and learning correctly) requires close attention to detail, incredible focus, and a plethora of corrections on my part. Yes, I will go out of my way to critique you, and I will continually tell you what needs fixing until it's fixed. I might have to tell you over and over and over again. And you know, I might even get frustrated with you once in awhile because of it, but here's what you need to understand: This doesn't make me mean or a bad teacher. This doesn't mean I hate you. What it does mean is that I see potential in you and I want to help. I just have to ask, do you see what I see in you? Do you see the talent and abilities I see?

Corrections are good. Success is an incredibly long and never ending process that takes time, but the corrections I give you are helping you get one step closer. So next time you catch yourself getting upset about receiving the same critique week after week or you want to complain about how mean I am, please remember that my intent is not malicious. I'm doing my job.

It's also my job to instill perseverance, dedication, discipline, trust, humility, confidence, creativity, bravery, and strong work ethic into you. I want to push your limits. Test you. Challenge you. I want to mold you into the person you want to be. Even though you probably don't even know who that person is, I do.

There are so many possibilities, opportunities, and challenges that are out there once you enter the world of adulthood. The dance world is so much bigger than your studio, competition routines, and conventions. At the end of the day, no one remembers or cares (especially your future employers) if you won a quadruple diamond platinum plus on your lyrical solo in 2016. They don't care about your first place overall at Showbiz. They don't care if you're Teen Miss Winner of the World. They don't care. What people do care about is your character, your heart, and how you made them feel.

Dancers, I will always support you. Whether you want to pursue a professional dance career in Los Angeles or New York City, in a company overseas, on your college dance team, I will support you. Whether you want to teach dance or choreograph locally in town, I will support you. Whether you don't want to dance at all and maybe be an engineer or a cosmetologist, I will support you. I will always fuel your dreams, goals, and desires, no matter where they'll take you.

I love you and I'm proud of you.

Sincerely,

Your Dance Teacher


Cover Image Credit: Pixabay

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