Continued from previous post:
We closed the collective because it was too hard to be politically correct and survive financially at the same time. I started offering workshops to other martial artists on how to teach physically disabled people. I didn’t really think at the time that I could make it as a dance teacher, but I knew that if I was going to hang up a shingle and seek students, I had to learn more than Jitterbug and badly danced Foxtrot, and a made up dance that nobody else did.
So I started learning more dance, taking classes here and there to expand my repertoire as I continued to teach. Meanwhile, Lori fell in love with Salsa, which my knees couldn’t handle at the time, and I fell in love with Swing, which her knees couldn’t handle. I was on my own again.
Things got a lot better when I found a practice partner (see “How Most Dancers Age”) and could learn new dances and practice things my students wanted that I wasn’t up on. I gradually retired my massage career as I built up my dance business. I was good at massage but I didn’t love it and I eventually made the choice to stop spending advertising money on a business I didn’t want to do. I don’t remember how many years I had been teaching before I made that decision but I do remember how scary it was.
Thirty four years later, it’s still a work in progress. I still take classes from favorite master dancers when someone I like is in town. (See “Favorite Teachers From My Past”) and constantly improve my skills. I make a surprisingly lot of use of my former skills. I now start my students out with a coaching session that gives me insights at the very beginning of how my students learn and what their bottom line goals are.
I teach students with physical disabilities again, but not in a group. I have taught a few group classes but I’ve built my business around private lessons for people who need that extra attention.
I could go on, but I know you all want to get back to the videos and fun posts. Plus there’s a cat sitting on my keyboard and it makes for slow going. Thanks for reading!
By LaurieAnn Lepoff
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