First off, GREAT JOB on the Christmas Show everyone! Those were BEAUTIFUL routines, and you all did AMAZING. I just read Paula’s blog post about the headaches that come with the show, so a BIG thanks to her and the instructors for all the hard work they put in to get this show going! I’m so proud of everyone and I’m so grateful to have had the opportunity to dance, especially with my awesome routine partners! 😀
Second, it is with sadness that I must say that I will be taking a leave of absence from classes at Aerial Dance. A pressing family situation has arisen, and I will be dedicating much of my time to it in the coming year. I promise I will return once that family situation has been straightened out. I hope to be able to stop by the studio to visit between now and then because I will miss all of you! Even if I am not at the studio, know I’m always here for you and cheering you on!
This also means I won’t be writing about my journey anymore, so I want to leave you with some closing pieces of advice:
Perpetuate the sisterhood.  Share Aerial Dance with others so that they too have the opportunity embark on their own amazing journey and have as much fun as you do. Cheer on your fellow dancers when they have success and offer encouragement when they are having troubles. Help one another. We should reach out to one another no matter the level we are, but upper-level students, I ask this of you: reach out to the beginners and new-ish students you see in practice. Remember how scary it was to be them? I do! Reach out, to say hello and/or to help them with any troubles. It’s always nice to know you have someone there for you that understands, in some way, what you’re going through. This is my ABSOLUTE FAVORITE part of Aerial Dance. Pole and the aerial arts are pretty freeking awesome, but it’s so much better when you get to share it with awesome ladies!
Don’t take yourself too seriously.  This sport IS fun, so remember to HAVE FUN. It’s OK to close your eyes in a spinning layback or  Bat (if you’re cleared and comfortable) and pretend you are flying. I do it every chance I get. Remember to laugh when things start to get frustrating because otherwise, you’ll just burn yourself out with frustration.
Take joy in the little things. Celebrate those small victories, whatever they are. Maybe you didn’t get the whole sequence or the whole move, but you did better today than you did last time, and that’s important to celebrate.
Punch fear in the face. I bet you that today, you are doing things on the pole or an aerial device that, months ago, you thought were scary or impossible. But here you are. Just look at you, you freeking bada**. When it comes to the moves that scare you, utilize your trusty awesome instructor to spot and guide you and then PUNCH FEAR IN THE FACE because nothing is going to stop you from doing crazy awesome pole and aerial things. I know you can do it (safely 🙂 )!! If you’re not sure that you can punch fear in the face–just go for it! I never knew I could do some of the things I can do until I just went for it!
Embrace the journey. This is not a race. There is no set destination here. You are on a lifelong journey of fitness, fun, and awesomeness. Despite what you may think, you do not need to get to a certain point at a certain time. Granted, you ought to still punch fear in the face, but don’t feel undue pressure to be what you are not ready to be. Do it at your own pace and enjoy the sport. I don’t mean be complacent! I’m just saying don’t compare yourself–this is YOUR journey! Perhaps an example will help here.
I started in 2012. I did take a long break at one point, but otherwise I have been and Advanced (and occasionally Extreme) student over the last four-ish years. I do believe that every single instructor except for Paula and Leah (duh) started at some point AFTER me, and are now teaching me. Shoot, Instructor Meegan and I took the same class for a while back when levels were numbered! The fact that they have surpassed me has always made me smile. Why? Because that is how their journey has gone, and I am forever grateful for that.
Another example: I remember when Paige was a newer student! She was such a rockstar, I would just sit and watch her whip out amazing stuff like she was born to do it (ok pretty sure she IS born to do it because she’s still awesome). In mere months she was teaching! She has grown so much since then as a person and I will miss her when she goes to CA–but I’m glad to have been witness to a part of her journey!
Those are my nuggets of wisdom for you as you continue forward on your pole journey. I will miss seeing you every week! I look forward to seeing you all again soon. If you want to stay in touch, feel free to friend me on Facebook, follow me on Instagram at @tenaciousbre, or Snap me at @violetlyte 🙂
Much love to you all, and happy spinning!