Written by Lanie Pile
December 2016, I stood on stage as my mentor announced that I had bought her studio and was officially the new owner and director of Mary Lou’s School of Dance. To say that these past few years have been a dream come true would be an understatement! My desire to own my own studio has been a lifetime in the making. I began dancing at age 2. My passion for dance has never wavered. I guess you could say that I’m lucky because I’ve always known what I wanted to do!
I get asked the question often by moms "What the best thing to do for my child’s dance education? More classes? Different classes? Practicing at home? Private lessons?"
The answer to all these things is “yes”, however the BEST thing to do for your child’s dance education, and for your child in general, is to believe in them.
You see, I’ve always known what I was passionate about, but it was my mom and dad who drove me to those classes, paid for them, went to each recital/nutcracker/musical/competition/performance, and who always told me I could do it. I have been given the incredible gift of knowing every day of my life that I was 100% loved, supported and BELIEVED IN by my parents. This belief has propelled me throughout life.
When I came to my parents and told them the opportunity in front of me to make my dream of owning my own studio a reality, without hesitation my mom said “Sounds incredible. How can we help?”
I explained business plans and numbers and data and my studio manifesto. I laid it all out there and said, “I hope I can do this. This is my families lives I am about to change and I am pushing all of our chips to the center of the table. What if I fail?” Her response- cool as a cucumber- “You won’t. Now how can I help?” My second attempt to give her all the scary “what if’s” didn’t phase her either. “Lanie, I would invest in you over absolutely anything else. I BELIEVE in you. Always have, always will. You were born for this. Take the risk. You will not fail.”
Y’all!!! Tears fill my eyes just writing those words. The security that comes from knowing that someone believes in you is priceless. I can say with conviction that I would not be where I am today without my parents (and now my incredible husband and daughters) believing in me.
So what is the best thing you can do for your child’s dance education?
Your child already has a dance teacher. Be their biggest BELIEVER.
At MLSD we encourage all of our students to achieve whatever they set their minds to and we as dedicated dance educators will work tirelessly to see them reach their personal goals, but the belief of a parent is a power that only you possess.
Dance is a classroom for life. Though most of our students will not choose to make Dance a career, the lessons they learn will translate into every area of their lives. Give them the gift of your unwavering belief that they can do whatever they set their mind to do- remember their choreography, finally achieve a double pirouette, to make a new friend in class, to overcome stage fright, to put on their own tap shoes, to earn their pointe shoes.
Be the one who says “I believe in you! Always have, always will.”