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BLOG (Written by Robyn Carter)

The Ultimate Pause… then Pivot

Posted on: April 11, 2020

I wish I had a magic wand and all these emotions that I am feeling would instantly and eloquently write themselves on this page.  Instead dribs and drabs of thoughts collected throughout the days (and mostly nights) have congregated here…

In an instant everything changed: the competition season, and the annual recital (our 20th!!!) in June have both been postponed.  Costumes sit sadly in boxes, waiting to be worn under the dazzling lights of Showplace.  Everything normal in the dance studio world is just on ‘pause.’

And so began my grieving process. Shock and denial arrived on March 13th as we flew home early from a much anticipated family vacation.  Pain and guilt followed as the realization hit that I would have to lay off the studio teachers.  Anger and bargaining set in. “Maybe we could just do small group classes?  Private lessons only?  This whole thing is bananas!!”

Eventually depression and reflection arrived. I began to fill my days, and once the kids were asleep, my quiet nights, with thoughts of what was, and the unknown of what will be.  Time was spent attempting to turn my brain off – usually by sipping wine, doing puzzles, or watching tiger documentaries on Netflix.  Like so many others, my brain relentlessly churns, attempting to find a solution to what seems like an impossible university level calculus equation.

Alas the upward turn came . . . as we implemented complementary online classes for our students, the teachers and I were greeted with so many smiling faces and treated to the sights of many photobombing family pets.  Parents took time to say how much the classes meant to their kids, and suddenly I was filled with a glimmer of hope.  Maybe we could continue to do what we love best (dance) from the comfort of our homes.  And so the ‘pause’ remained on what was, and the idea of what could be was born.

Reconstruction began.  An online on demand website that Premiere Dancers could access anytime to get their dance training in.  What a perfect time to work on flexibility, strength, ballet technique or finally getting to try a hip hop class!  The opportunities are endless and exciting.  ‘Premiere Dance on Demand’ was born: an online dance studio that will cater to recreational and competitive dancers, ages 2 and up.  Different programs all built to suit dancers needs in this unprecedented time.  Live and on demand classes joined together in harmonious unity.

As the weeks passed, my entire team has worked tirelessly to create this new online world of dance for the PSD family.  Through countless hours of meetings, scheduling, and much trial and error, we’ve found what I know will work best for not only my studio’s dancers, but also for anyone whose children are missing dance, or are eager to try dance for the first time. 

Through the creation of Premiere Dance on Demand, I have been filled with acceptance of this strange new reality and hope for our future. Thankfully these are the last stages of the grieving process (Phew!).  I know that more challenges lay ahead, and this new system will inevitably have glitches that we will need to work out.  But I also know that, like any other challenge that comes my way, I will get through it.  I get through it thanks to the amazing team I am surrounded by and the support of my fantastic dancers and their families.  I trust everyone will enjoy this new and exciting On Demand adventure!