From Dance Coach to New Mommy
Trading One Love for Another
My first love was something that I fell into hard and fast. It provided joy and inspired something inside of me that only true love can. It made me want to be a better person every day. It was beautiful and uncomplicated. My first love... was dance.
As much as I love the art of dance in and of itself, what I loved most about dance was the camaraderie that I found in being part of a team. People relied on me, and I relied on them. Unlike most sports, there is no bench and dance teams cannot function properly without all of their members. Every member plays a pivotal role in a routine, and so the members of very serious and focused teams become like family.
I fell into coaching competitive dance completely unexpectedly. I volunteered to help out at a few practices for my step-sister’s dance team, and had intended on becoming a competitive dance judge. I thought that the experience I would gain from choreographing and assisting a team would be valuable to my future role as a judge. Little did I know at the time that coaching dance would become one of the biggest parts of who I was to become in life.
I spent seven years coaching – two as an assistant and five as a head coach. I met so many amazing people and built relationships that will last a lifetime. During my five seasons as a head coach, my teams scooped up six State Championship titles. Did I imagine that happening when I first began coaching? Never. I set out to have fun doing something that I loved, and my goals and my spirit grew from there.
Not only did my love for the sport grow over those seven seasons, but my love for life grew as well. The countless number of girls that I was privileged to coach completely changed me for the better. Becoming a good role model and a good person was at the forefront of every day for me, because I knew how many young ladies were watching my every move. My drive to work hard grew as I pushed my teams to do the same, and we accomplished huge goals together as I also accomplished huge goals in my personal and professional life.
Having children was a discussion that my husband and I had many times throughout our marriage. We both love to travel, and I loved coaching dance too much to give it up. I knew that a baby required much more than the few spare hours a week I had left in my exhausting schedule.
During my sixth season coaching, I could feel the end nearing. Working full-time and dedicating every evening and weekend throughout a huge majority of the year was taking a toll on my personal relationships and marriage, and even though I was blessed with the most patient and supportive husband I could ever ask for, I began feeling like I was missing out on a more important part of life. I finished out my sixth season and knew that I had one more year left in me. I had to go into it knowing fully that it was my last year, so that I could give it my all and leave nothing undone.
My seventh and final season as a dance coach was perfect. Our team was tighter than ever and the most successful to date. I had a successor coach lined up who loved the program just as much as I did and was ready to breathe new life into it. I was terrified, but ready for a huge change in my life. I knew that it was time for me to shift my focus toward my family.
Once the season had ended and I broke the news to the dance girls, I cried for mixed reasons. I was devastated to leave something I loved so much, but I felt a sense of relief at the same time. Fast forward six months later as my husband and I sat on the beach in Mexico watching a beautiful sunrise on the final day of our five year anniversary trip, and I shared the news with him that we were expecting our first child.
Life is full of sacrifices and different opportunities. I chose to give up something that I love so dearly in order to take the risk that I might trade up for something I could possibly love even more. As I transitioned from coaching dance to judging dance, I learned that there is always room for the things you love in life. Instead of a large group of impressionable girls watching my every move, I now have one beautiful little girl of my own that I hope to guide toward a bright future. And who knows? Maybe I will coach again one day in the future… Or maybe I will be a doting mom cheering on my daughter from the audience.