Ripples In The Water

As we go through our daily lives we tend to focus on our own life, our own days, and our own loved ones. There’s nothing at all wrong with that, we focus on what’s in front of us. But the truth is that by going through our daily lives, pursuing our dreams or even just living our mundane lives we are creating ripples in the water of life that impact others in ways we cannot possibly see.

A young woman found a love of dance in her life, she had a passion to create a dance studio where all dancers would find encouragement, instruction and the joy of dance. She passionately believed that everyone should dance, even if they weren’t particularly talented at it because dancing brings our hearts joy. She knew that the lessons of dance go far beyond how to do the perfect pirouette, they teach self-discipline, they teach that things that seem impossible may actually be quite possible if we want them badly enough.

Through dance, she found a way to teach life lessons, not just dance lessons.

Does the fact that she saw her dream become reality with not just one, but two dance studios, mean she never had a moment of doubt? Does it mean that she never had a single person tell her that her dream was crazy, or was unattainable?

More likely she just chose to not listen to the doubters, or the naysayers and pursue her dream because it is what she felt was her life’s calling.

That part, that one little part, is where the magic in the story begins to happen. She did not give up. She made ripples in the water of her life.

Her passion touched so many others. Did she know how she affected those who met her? Maybe, but maybe not. We tend not to tell people they inspire us for fear of it being awkward or seeming weird. Hopefully, she knew.

Follow the ripples that she left in the water, and see if you see yourself painted in the picture. This reminds me of all the warm feelings that engulfed me on Valentine’s Day a few weeks back.

She started a dance studio and the studio grew and grew, years later a little girl was dancing happily around her mother’s house so her mom called around to find out about dance classes. The woman answered the phone, she impressed the girl’s mom with her kindness and openness, so they signed up! The little girl was only 5 years old, surely no one was thinking about career choices, or becoming a businesswoman herself one day. Mom was simply thinking, I’ll put my daughter in dance classes because I think she will like it.

She more than liked it, she found her true love. She found her passion! Dance is about more than technique and pointed toes, dance is about more than good posture, and which girl can lift her leg higher in the air. Dance is about so much more than those things, and for this little girl who was just five years old, she found that in her dance teacher. Dance is about confidence, and joy, and self-expression. The dance studio became a place to be happy, to work hard, and to build friendships and relationships.

Soon this little girl was a teenager, and the dance teacher offered the girl her very first job. Now the little girl, no longer so little, found the joy that can be found only in teaching someone else to dance. You see, there’s a difference between being really good at something—and make no mistake, the girl was very, very good at dance!—and being able to teach someone else to be a dancer. The little girl discovered she had both abilities inside of her.

The ripples in the water were starting to spread, but no one was noticing them yet.

More years go by, the girl goes off to college and gets a degree unrelated to dance. She thinks her time at the studio is over and then Fate taps her on the shoulder and asks her, “Are you brave enough to make a leap of faith?” and the little girl was! Because she knew where her passion was, she knew that she could teach others to love dance, to learn the lessons that life has to teach the way she had been taught by the woman.

This is where the river has a fork and everyone in the story had a path to choose. The woman could have simply chosen to close the studio, move on with her life, and enjoy a quieter time. The girl could have stuck steadfastly to the career she had chosen, she would definitely have helped people in that path but she knew she wanted to follow the path the woman had set out on years before! She wanted to continue that legacy, and she didn’t want her time at the dance studio to be over.

The ripples are continuing to spread! The circle left by the woman is spreading beyond even her own circles, the circles are intermingling! The young woman had learned intently at the feet of the now older woman, she learned how to make people feel welcome at her studio, she learned how to teach girls in a way that built them up and never, ever tore them down. She followed the example that was set for her as a very young girl and created a place where girls wanted to spend time, where they wanted their friends to come and join them, and where they supported each other as they worked to improve and find out exactly how good they could become!

How many people have felt the impact of those ripples? It’s impossible to say.

How many times did life present choices that could have changed the course of everything? Too many to count.

At any point in the woman’s life if she had chosen a different path, hundreds…maybe thousands…of people would have had a different experience in life and maybe had to come by on just one income.

As I write this to you, the woman who started the story has passed away. She’s now dancing in the light in Heaven, no pain, no aching feet or muscles, she can leap as high as she wishes because Angel wings give her flight. So much more inspiring than all those people that come up with all sort of excuses…

I didn’t get to know her well, and yet I find that her ripples in the water impacted my life, my daughter’s life, and so many others. Everyone has their own story to tell about how the woman changed their life, and mine is no different. So many people owe her a debt of unspeakable gratitude, their family has a thriving business to run in her legacy, the young woman has a business of her own that she never dreamed would become reality, countless young women and men have learned to go after their dreams with confidence and kindness. The lessons they learned at the dance studio go on long after their time at the studio is over.