2 months ago I thought I couldn’t do it.
The idea of selling over a hundred tickets per show seemed insane. I was worried about covering the costs of the most expensive theater rental I had sprung for - ever.
People encouraged me to secure sponsorship. I started that process only to find myself mired in more details with more things to manage, and the added work of coordinating sponsors and planning to promote them, too, had me super stressed out.
So I let go of that plan. I refunded people money. I was scared because logically sponsorship was the safe way to go, but I decided to trust the feeling I had inside.
so, instead of adding more work to my plate that would take me away from the creative process, I decided to add in more creative process.
I invited in a group of my beginner ballet students to learn and perform a dance in the show, too. I put a call out for pre-teen/teen girls who might want to learn the This Is Me dance and be in our finale number. Then, 4 women showed up who were super ready to dive into a deep process of solo dance creation and personal growth, and worked with me for those 2 months leading up to the show. Cate, one of the original YCDAers, restaged a piece of her choreography. All of these dancers combined with our original group of 9 added up to 28 performers.
I knew that the same fears that were stopping me from believing I could make this show happen were the same fears that were stopping all of my dancers from believing they could do their part. So I opened up to them. I shared my fears. I encouraged them to feel their fears, too. And we all moved through it.
The show itself was incredible. The tech guy totally messed up so many times. I had way too much on my plate and had a total meltdown an hour before the show. Some cues were missed. Some steps were missed. I had to do a lot of improvised taking/hosting on stage because of the tech snafus. But we brought ourselves to the stage. We were authentic. We shared our hearts and souls.
and wow, did the audience feel it. and so did we.
(And without trying, by the way, we ended up surpassing the goal of 100 tickets by 150%.)
The closing circle I had with the performers the next day was one of the most meaningful things ever. To hear these women share between tears about how impactful this whole experience was for them. To hear how incredibly valuable it was for them to have a safe space to come every week and be who they are, and express themselves, and not have to feel like they need to try to measure up…
So that’s the behind-the-scenes story of the Dance Rebels’ Revival Show. I feel like the lesson speaks for itself, but if I were to sum it up shortly, it would be this:
authentic creativity is more valuable than any formulated plan.
a safe space to be yourself is something so needed in this world.
trust yourself. that whisper inside knows what it’s doing.
And by the way, the doors of our creative home are open. If you are craving a safe space to express yourself through dance or another creative medium, please check out the list of opportunities here. From group dance classes to a day-long Immersion to an upcoming group coaching program… there’s space for you here.