When people ask me what is the BEST part of my job there are many answers I could give:
- Getting to dance everyday (my body, mind and spirit love to dance),
- The cute babies (I seriously get to work with the cutest demographic!)
- Our amazing staff (I work with truly gifted dancers and passionate teachers)
But if I peel away all the layers and look at the core what what really inspires me, fuels me and pushes me forward, the answer is so very simple and yet so very complex.
The moments I witness; a baby erupting into giggles while playing peek-a-boo with mom, or swaying into peaceful slumber as mom swings her hips.
The sparkle in a toddler's eyes as she twirls wildly across the dance floor with her grandmother. The delight and pride of a parent the first time their preschooler gives me (good) "Fit Hop Attitude!" after weeks of staring shyly at his toes.
The greetings, hugs, and laughter that echos through our lobby as friendships emerge from the dance floor. The mom who is suffering from baby blues or postpartum depression who finds community, a shoulder to cry on, and (many) sympathetic ears.
The moments I live; a baby breaking into the biggest, ear to ear, chubby check smile when I greet them by name and they recognize me, sometimes so thrilled they roll, creep, crawl or belly flop across the floor to grab my nose.
A toddler who quietly slips into my lap, without a word, as I tell a story, or who runs at me full speed before jumping into my arms, squealing my name. The preschooler (or her parent) who tells me she named her favourite doll "Miss Jessica" or wonders "where do you sleep at the studio, Ms Jessica?".
The mom who confides in me that some days feel like too much and lets me hug her and help her carry her diaper bag and car seat to her car so she can just stand up straight, on her own, for even a few seconds. The moms who happily confide their early pregnancies (even the surprises) before it becomes public knowledge.
The dancers who have danced with me through weight loss, death, divorce, love and joy... It is the dance that bring us to this space but it is life we experiencing together.
In high school I took a aptitude test in the hopes for some great revelations as what I should do with the rest of my life. The results: Teacher, Social Worker, Communications/Marketing, Psychologist, or Actress (yes I am a bit of a drama queen). I giggle looking back realizing I do ALL of those things at my job! But what I didn't realize then is the common thread in all these fields is the importance of relationships.
It was my relationship with Bria, my first daughter, and the deep love I experienced instantly at her birth five years ago, that inspired me to start J'Adore Dance. It is when I see people living moments, making memories, and nurturing relationships, new and old, that I know I have achieved success in my vision, in my business, in my self. Because at the end of it, it's all about the relationships.