Today is a happy & sad day for Aerial Dance. Instructor Niki is having her “last day.” She is getting married in August and moving to Tomahawk. I’m so unbelievably happy for her and this next adventure. But I’m going to miss her SOOOO MUCH! Niki has been the quiet hero of Aerial Dance.
We all love Niki for her gorgeous smile and bubbly attitude. She makes classes fun. She also sneaks in a butt workout no matter what class she is teaching. I’ve seen time and time again how Niki can turn a student’s negative attitude around and help her accomplish something “impossible”. Niki is 100% genuine, ALL THE TIME. Which is one of the many reasons Niki is so special.
Niki started as a student. After 2ish years she transitioned into becoming an instructor at a very tumultuous time for the company. She came on when we were just starting our Aerial program and it was a hard time for staff to go from being pole teachers to now having to be great on four apparatus. Niki took it in stride. Her less favorite apparatus she became proficient to teach on because she knew that is what the company needed from her. She fell in love with hammock and became a true artist on it, creating interesting combos in her own style.  A little secret, Niki doesn’t love performing, but yet for all the Christmas Shows she works hard and puts on a great performance because she knows that is what the students deserve. Niki has always been a true team player doing what needs to be done to make Aerial Dance a special place.
On a deeply personal note: Niki has been one of my biggest cheerleaders. For 5+ years I’ve turned to her when I needed guidance on how I was doing as a manager, asking her for ideas on how I could improve or ways I could facilitate my relationship as owner with my instructors. Niki has always given it to me straight and clear, she’s helped me grow. When my personal life imploded two years ago, Niki brought me a color coded folder with exercises to help get me back on track. She’s always there. Stable. Solid. Kind. Compassionate. Aerial Dance simply wouldn’t be what it is if she hadn’t joined our team. I wouldn’t be who I am without Niki’s guidance. I am beyond grateful for the countless hours she’s spent with us.
Today is her farewell party, but it isn’t goodbye. She’ll come back from time to time to make guest appearances 🙂 and for that I’m excited. I’m so happy that she is so happy with Andy and is getting to move home. I’ll miss her every day and look forward to her visits. Thank you Niki for all you have done for me and Aerial Dance.