To My Dance Students: You've Thanked Me, Now It's My Turn To Thank You

To My Dance Students: You've Thanked Me, Now It's My Turn To Thank You

The thoughts my dance students deserve to hear.
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I always conclude my dance classes by saying "thank you" to my students. Afterward, I hear a collective "thank you" in response. Then I'll typically have 4-5 students approach me to give thanks personally or give me a hug. Sometimes I'll have the older students who shout their appreciation as they leave or sometimes I'll get a message after class. I understand why they tell me thank you. As teachers, we give a lot of ourselves to our students on a daily basis. But I'm not entirely sure my students know why I give them my thanks and appreciation after every class.

You give every passing day worth. No matter how old you get, no matter how many years ago you graduated, you'll still be one of my "kids." I'll always love you as my own. I spend more time with you than my family. You give my life purpose and I look forward to spending time with you day after day. I never get tired of walking into the studio to see your bright smiles and hello's. Thank you.

You give me the opportunity to change you for the better. By letting someone like a dance teacher into your life, you're in for a lot of change. We'll challenge and push you to achieve things you never thought you could. You may have been nervous or anxious to let me in, but you did anyways. You gave me the chance to make a difference in your life. Thank you.

You trust me. I can't even imagine the number of times you've thought I'm absolutely nuts. But you never say anything. You never question me, my decisions, or my authority. You take in my instruction and listen to my words. You trust I have your best interest in mind and you should because believe me, I do. Thank you.

You give the most undeniable effort. You're here dancing 6 days per week. I know you're tired. But never once do I hear you complain. Never do I hear a sigh or huff of frustration or annoyance -- even when I pull "one more time" six times in a row (you know this is a "class dance teacher" line). If you're fatigued, I could never tell. You push so hard and never even consider marking the choreography. I keep you late, I say "do it again", and you just do it. No questions asked. Thank you.

You help me become a better teacher. I learn just as much from you as you learn from me. The countless lessons and take-aways are what help me be the best educator and role model I can be for you. Different strategies, patterns, and phrases to keep you on your toes challenge me to stay ahead, think differently, and improve my methods. Thank you.

You are a sure-source of happiness and laughter. How could I not be happy walking into a room of beautiful people who share the same passion as myself? Your intelligent questions, ability to retain corrections, and funny jokes leave me beaming. Don't even get me started on the joy I feel when the "light bulb" moment happens or when things just "click." It's indescribable. Thank you.

Your sacrifice of time and a social life doesn't go unrecognized. No time for homework, no time for sleep, or for anything outside of dancing. You have weekend rehearsals, 5-day competitions, conventions, and other commitments that don't leave you much time for anything else. Yet you still make the choice to be here, working hard. You come in on your one day off to practice. You struggle to memorize your tap steps in your bedroom at midnight. You spend your Friday nights in lessons with me taking corrections and perfecting your solo. You live and breathe dance. That isn't an easy feat being a teenager -- especially as you battle temptations. Thank you.

You respect me. You don't talk back. You don't roll your eyes (to my face at least). You take what I say, listen, and accept it. You make the necessary changes. You value my opinion and take my words as important and worthy of considering. Thank you.

You are always eager and excited to work hard. It really does make a huge difference. I thrive off of good energy and positive vibes in class. When you're just as excited as I am to have a productive and awesome rehearsal, we can only go up from there. Thank you.

You never fail to bring my visions to life. No matter how crazy and out of reach they seem, you still hear me out. You still support me and my ideas. You (somehow) take my unrealistic and risky concepts and bring them to life. You make my dreams a reality. Thank you.

Cover Image Credit: Original Photo

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30 Things I'd Rather Be Than 'Pretty'

Because "pretty" is so overrated.
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Nowadays, we put so much emphasis on our looks. We focus so much on the outside that we forget to really focus on what matters. I was inspired by a list that I found online of "Things I Would Rather Be Called Instead Of Pretty," so I made my own version. Here is a list of things that I would rather be than "pretty."

1. Captivating

I want one glance at me to completely steal your breath away.

2. Magnetic

I want people to feel drawn to me. I want something to be different about me that people recognize at first glance.

3. Raw

I want to be real. Vulnerable. Completely, genuinely myself.

4. Intoxicating

..and I want you addicted.

5. Humble

I want to recognize my abilities, but not be boastful or proud.

6. Exemplary

I want to stand out.

7. Loyal

I want to pride myself on sticking out the storm.

8. Fascinating

I want you to be hanging on every word I say.

9. Empathetic

I want to be able to feel your pain, so that I can help you heal.

10. Vivacious

I want to be the life of the party.

11. Reckless

I want to be crazy. Thrilling. Unpredictable. I want to keep you guessing, keep your heart pounding, and your blood rushing.

12. Philanthropic

I want to give.

13. Philosophical

I want to ask the tough questions that get you thinking about the purpose of our beating hearts.

14. Loving

When my name is spoken, I want my tenderness to come to mind.

15. Quaintrelle

I want my passion to ooze out of me.

16. Belesprit

I want to be quick. Witty. Always on my toes.

17. Conscientious

I want to always be thinking of others.

18. Passionate

...and I want people to know what my passions are.

19. Alluring

I want to be a woman who draws people in.

20. Kind

Simply put, I want to be pleasant and kind.

21. Selcouth

Even if you've known me your whole life, I want strange, yet marvelous. Rare and wondrous.

22. Pierian

From the way I move to the way I speak, I want to be poetic.

23. Esoteric

Do not mistake this. I do not want to be misunderstood. But rather I'd like to keep my circle small and close. I don't want to be an average, everyday person.

24. Authentic

I don't want anyone to ever question whether I am being genuine or telling the truth.

25. Novaturient

..about my own life. I never want to settle for good enough. Instead I always want to seek to make a positive change.

26. Observant

I want to take all of life in.

27. Peart

I want to be honestly in good spirits at all times.

28. Romantic

Sure, I want to be a little old school in this sense.

29. Elysian

I want to give you the same feeling that you get in paradise.

30. Curious

And I never want to stop searching for answers.
Cover Image Credit: Favim

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10 Places From Movies And TV You Can Visit In Real Life

It's like stepping into Hollywood!

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I am constantly so enamored by the world of Hollywood and by going to visit places I have seen on screen. It's always such an unreal feeling to see where my favorite pieces of entertainment were shot. Here are 10 places from some of our favorite movies to see and visit in the real world!

The High School from "10 Things I Hate About You"

If you have ever wanted to dance on the same stairs as Heath Ledger or just stand in the same courtyard as Julia Stiles then you're in luck! Along the water in Tacoma, Washington, Stadium High School is located which was used both inside and out as the high school from one of the greatest teen movies of all time. This school is massive and so beautiful it's almost Hogwarts level stunning.

Pacific Coast Academy from  "Zoey 101"

Growing up I always dreamed about going to Pacific Coast Academy and being best friends with Jamie Lynn Spears and one of those things can (kinda) become a reality! Located in Malibu is a beautiful campus called Pepperdine University and it is the school they used to shoot scenes of Zoey and the gang at PCA. It is a christian based college and is prestigious in it's own right so if unlike me you are smart enough you can live out my dreams.

Central City Police Department from "The Flash"

Have you ever wanted to show up to Detective Joe West's place of work? Well head to the Vancouver City Hall in Vancouver, Canada and you will recognize your surroundings as the Central City Police Department! If you are lucky enough to show up on a filming day, you might even seen the man himself — Barry Allen.

Forks High School from The Twilight Saga

Personally, I am more invested in Bella and Jacob but for all my Team Edward ladies (and gentleman) you can visit the real-life school where Bella and Edward first met and their love blossomed into whatever obsessive weird thing it was. They also used the parking lot at this school to film the infamous scene where Edward saves Bella from getting crushed by a car. The school is called Kalama High School and is located in Kalama, Washington

Max And Dani's House from "Hocus Pocus"

Anyone with taste loves the movie Hocus Pocus — that's just facts! And I have some good news for fans of the film...you can visit the infamous Denison house! Located in none other than Salem, Massachusetts you will find this beautiful home where my favorite siblings once lived.

Silent Hill from "Silent Hill"

I will say before talking about this place that visiting it is EXTREMELY dangerous as just like in the movie the town as been burning from below for years and years. This small town is called Centralia and is located Pennsylvania and has a roaring population of about four people.

Hobbiton from "Lord Of The Rings"

I am personally not a fan of Lord of the Rings but I know a lot of people are so I wanted to include this super cool place on the list. If you ever find yourself in New Zealand you can visit Hobbinton from the movies and spend a day living like your favorite characters.

Platform 9 3/4 from the Harry Potter Series

Now this place will unfortunately be packed with muggles of course but you can find it at King's Cross Station in London! If you are anything like me and are obsessed with these magical movies this is a dream destination just don't run too hard at the wall if you're a muggle it will probably end in a concussion.

East High from the High School Musical Saga

Located in Salt Lake City Utah is the real life East High that was used in the filming of all three High School Musical movies. It is my absolute dream to attend this high school and walk the halls of the greatest high school of all time. They used both the outside and inside and the school so every inch of the school will remind you of these great teen movies.

Gus and Hazel's Bench from "The Fault in Our Stars" 

If you ever wanted to visit the site of this kiss between star crossed lovers you're in luck! Located along a canal in Amsterdam is a bench that is clearly marked by all the fault in our stars graffiti. Recreate this cute picture with your significant other and use a quote from the movie — then you'll just win in life.

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