I’m reflecting on the last 10 years of AW School Of Dance and there is much to consider and celebrate.
10 years ago I decided to ‘go it alone’ after teaching at other dance schools (both Ballroom and Theatre) for a number of years. With a wedding to plan and the birth of my second son imminent, it happened at a very busy time for us as a family and that seemed to set the tone for the time ahead.
We started in a local Village Hall, with a handful of pupils just open 2 evenings and 1 morning a week. Quickly expanding, I made the very difficult decision 2 years later to sacrifice financial stability for job satisfaction and gave up my ‘proper’ job to teach full time. Luckily I had (and still have) a very supportive and understanding husband and family behind me. I said I would give it 12 months to see if I could make it work!
Alot has happened in the time that has passed
- We have moved premises. Now dancing out of our own Tower Ballroom, we are able to open I am extremely proud of the space in which we dance, and thankful to everyone who helps make it such a happy place.
- We have new teachers. William and Wendy have both qualified as full members of the IDTA with the top marks, and are valuable members of the teaching crew!
- We have had a wedding. That was such a happy day, when a couple who met in class tied the knot. And, amazingly, they are still dancing and speaking to each other
- We have been successful. Both in Competitions and in exams, maintaining our 100% medal test success, but also achieving high results in Ofqual recognized exams. In addition, we have had champions in competitions at both Regional and National levels.
- We have been on TV. Twice! One of my proudest moments was taking a group of children to dance in a Nursing Home LIVE on Breakfast TV for their annual charity campaign. A very difficult thing to do, negotiating cameras, a small space, and being starstruck by the presenters. Although I still haven’t actually watched the footage yet
- We have danced with the stars. With visits from World Champions and Strictly Superstars, we have brushed shoulders with the stars of both the dance world, and the world of the small screen.
- People have moved on. This is always hard, especially when it is children that have made their way through the school and have almost become like family. They may move on to University, start working or simply decide that dancing is no longer for them and they need a break. They take with them a life skill and many return later to take dancing up again. But other people join the school too, and its an ever growing and changing community.
You may notice that throughout most of this, I have said the word WE. This may seem like an odd thing to do when I work for myself, but there is good reason. I say this often, but ‘it’s more than just the dancing’. The success of the last 10 years is down to each and every person that has ever stepped foot inside any of the venues in which I have taught – young or old. Those difficult decisions in the early years have proven to be the right ones, and I can’t think of anything I would now rather be doing.
Here’s to the next 10 years, and many more experiences ahead 🍾