Creating New Opportunities in Times of Adversity
By Erin Pride
When I was 34-years-old (I'm 39-years-old now), I wanted to audition for Pilobolus. Crazy lady, I know!
It took me a really long time to figure out what kind of performance career I wanted. When I graduated from college, all my friends hit the Broadway audition circuit hard and I found out really quickly that this wasn’t for me.
The more I tested the water to see what I did like, the more I realized concert dance was like home.
Eventually, I was immersed in a full-time teaching world. I loved my students, I loved my job, but I genuinely felt like something was missing.
My performance-itch was intense, and although I miss performing now from time to time this was different. I felt it in my bones that I still had a performance to give the world.
I absolutely loved Pilobolus, like stalked loved them, and when I heard they were having an audition I was over the moon excited.
I shared my excitement and the news that I would be auditioning with my then partner. He said 3 things…
- You're too old
- This is not responsible
- You're not going to make it
It was like he slammed the door of hope in my face. If I went to the audition, there would be conflict, and if I didn’t go to the audition, I would live in regret.
So I went to the audition! The pull on my heartstrings was too intense to ignore.
Day one, I made it to the next cut. I was like, "Wow."
Day two I made it to the next cut and I was like, "Wow, did they make a mistake?"
And day three, the last day I got cut at the very end and I was like…."He was right."
After the final audition day I reached out to one of my mentors and she suggested that I write Pilobolus and email sharing with them my gratitude for the audition, and my love of the company.
Well, guess what? They wrote me back and they said, "We loved you too, Erin. We would love to offer you a full scholarship to our summer program."
What? 34, too old, not going to make it. Me, right? So I took the scholarship with no expectations. And then they offered me a job dancing with them overseas!
This was so amazing to me as it all started with a dream, and even when I was told “no” to this particular dream, I still kept trying!
Similarly, in current times with COVID-19, we are hearing so many “nos” and are faced with unexpected roadblocks…
My heart goes out to those struggling right now, and who are affected directly or indirectly from the virus. This is a tough time for all, but I also want to assure you that there are more possibilities than meet the eye.
I know it may seem as though so many doors are closing right now...Doors to your business... Doors to your dreams. But I feel this is a great time to find a solution within our given circumstances.
We need to expand our perception and think outside the barre (...get it, haha)
Our dreams of dance go beyond the floors of our studio or dance school, so why not create something we have always wanted to do within our given circumstance?
There are a few things we can do to create opportunities for ourselves and make a change for the better.
I’m going to name just a few things you can do right now, to turn “no” into “let’s go!”
Try something completely new!
Uplevel your skillset
- That class you always wanted to take (online)? Take it!
- That new skill you always wanted to master? Work at it!
- That hobby you wanted to dedicate time to? Do it!
Connect & collaborate
- Work on your self-development
- Further your education/certification to broaden your knowledge and then teach that to your dance students
- Hire a coach to help give you guidance and clarity in your business, classes or mindset
- Reach out to those in your community or industry whom you admire
- Connect with friends or colleagues to keep others accountable (virtually, of course)
- Join a new online group, community, mastermind, membership, of like-minded people to feel connected to those going through similar struggles and get the solutions you need!
These are just a few things that you can take action today!
When doors are closed in our faces, it is valid to feel hurt or defeated. But if we want to move forward and progress even within our current restraints, we have to start looking for windows to open.
So I want you to, yes, feel the pain of whatever you're going through, but then TAKE AN ACTION.
I wanted to leave you with that today because I know a lot of my peeps are in pain. You are not alone, but you can change your circumstances.
I did this when pursuing my passion of concert dance, and you can too with your dreams as well!
I hope you enjoyed this post and my story.
You can do this and you are supported.
Are you teaching your dance classes online during Covid-19? Click Here to listen to the Bonus episode of the Dance Boss Podcast: COVID-19 Prep: How to Take Classes and Rehearsals Online with Audra Allen.
Erin is your personal dance coach. Helping you the fired up dance educator, build an impactful classroom. A Jersey girl all the way, she graduated from Montclair State University with a B.F.A. in Dance and received her Masters in Dance Education from New York University. Erin is a dance classroom expert and specializes in lesson planning, unit plan design, and curriculum creation, as well as classroom management strategies. She has over a decade of experience teaching, writing curriculum, and developing programming. Erin is the Director of a High School Dance Program in New Jersey, and the Host of the Dance Boss Podcast. To learn more about Erin visit erindpride.com, and you can hang out with Erin on Instagram and Facebook.