I had never really done any kind of volunteering before, besides what work provided; the idea didn’t really pop into my head, until danceability ignited that spark in me. Danceability changed my life immensely, in more ways than I could have imagined.
After a long hiatus from dancing (much to my demise), due to long nights and weekends in grad school and a little life slump of trying to start a career, there were a few rough months of just not having passion for anything. I was just going through the motions, but didn’t even know what motions those were. Post-MBA graduation, I was trying to find a job while working one I knew wasn’t meant for me, and then came home and watched Netflix every night. It wasn’t the life I wanted, and I needed something else. My mom looked at me one day and said “You really need to go back to dancing.” I found a nearby studio and the passion was reignited and I couldn’t have been happier.
I took some classes and met a great teacher there, who later became one of my close friends. During ballet class she was always cheerfully exclaiming how great danceability was, and how much she enjoyed teaching there. I loved hearing the stories of her dancers and what they were working on, on a weekly basis. She was posting great things on social media too, about the organization, and mentioned that the studio needed more volunteers.
As a result of continuously going to Meg Rutkowski’s dance classes, I had a revelation in September of 2015, that I wanted to share my passion of dance with others. I’m not the best dancer, but that doesn’t matter. Dance isn’t about being the best, it’s about the positive and uplifting head space it puts you in. My biggest push to gravitating towards danceability was hearing Meg tell me how excited all the dancers are on a weekly basis to see their volunteers. I was looking forward to that part the most, and looking back, she couldn’t have been more right.
After reaching out to Miss Robin and Miss Christine, I got the volunteer packet from danceability in the mail, took a deep breath, and took the plunge, and haven’t turned back. Of course I had my doubts, as I had never worked with the special needs population, and hoped I would be able to give my best so that the students would get the most out of the class.
My first day of class, was just like any new experience, I didn’t know what I was doing at all. I didn’t know how I was supposed to interact with the students, and teachers, and didn’t know if what I was doing made a difference. After a few weeks, and getting to know the personality of the students, the excitement really sparked, especially as we started learning our dances for the recital. I love my dance partners, and am even back with my dance partner from last year, Karen, and we just have such a great time every week. Her spunk keeps everyone entertained and she definitely has some great moves to show off during class, especially when we put in special requests to freestyle to Shania Twain.
One of my favorite moments, besides the recital and fundraisers, of course, was when I was helping out at a summer fitness class. The weekly progressions I noticed in my dancer were incredible. The first week, my dancer wasn’t lifting her legs high enough to run, and by the end of the 6 weeks she was jogging just like everyone else. I may have been at the top of my excitement that day.
Seeing these progressions and the weekly smiles and hugs I get are what keeps me coming back, and I think I can safely say that for all of the volunteers.
Classroom volunteering is the best feeling, but it wasn’t enough and I wanted to do more.
I’m on the Board of Directors now, and am always honored that I am able to help direct where this organization will be going in the future. The great personalities on the board coming together is a magical thing and we have some great ideas in the works.
Besides the dancing aspect of danceability, I need to credit danceability with making me want to do as much volunteering as possible. My 1.5 hours a week in the studio needed to turn into more. Soon after, I reached out to Make-A-Wish and American Cancer Society to see what I could do for them as well. Without danceability, I wouldn’t have made the friends I’ve made, or probably wouldn’t have had many of the experiences I’ve had over the past year. I’m grateful to this organization for instilling my passion in my dancers, and for giving me the ability to present my ideas for the future of the organization. I’m grateful for this organization for putting me on the volunteering path, and helping me meet the amazing people who I’ve come across.
I’m always excited that I get to do this on a weekly basis and am grateful to keep on dancin’.