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miniSHEs: What They’ve Taught Me

#miniSHEs: Aven Chadwell

Next up in our #miniSHEs series we hear from dance educator, goldendoodle mama, peanut butter lover, and arts advocate Aven Chadwell. Aven has had the pleasure of working with hundreds of #miniSHEs in the dance world. Although she has been their teacher, they have taught her far more about life than she has taught them about tendues. Here are just a few of the lessons Aven has learned from some of her miniSHEs or, as she likes to call them, her tiny-joyful-dancer-babies. dance dance dance dance

SHE Doesn’t Apologize for Her Presence

“Miss Avennn, I am here!” shouted the young ballerina. With hair in her face and a fading temporary tattoo on her cheek, she announced her arrival to dance class. It didn’t matter that she was five minutes late or that she forgot her shoes, she was there and wanted everyone else to know it.

How many times have I been late and entered the door apologizing? The first words out of my mouth were, “I’m so sorry, I got caught in traffic,” or “My dog had to go out again before I could leave. I’m sorry you’ve been waiting!” I began the conversation with shoulders slumped and head down. Why? A miniSHE shows up and jumps in.

SHE doesn’t APOLOGIZE for her presence, SHE ANNOUNCES her presence.

SHE Listens to Her Body

“Teacher….teacher…my tummy hurts.” If you work with children in any capacity, you hear this almost on a daily basis. There are times when the student doesn’t want to participate but there are also times when they truly aren’t feeling well. I’ve had a student tell me she isn’t feeling well and proceed to finish class with no problem. I’ve also had a student not say a word and then get sick on the dance floor. We can learn so much from those little words, “my tummy hurts.” SHE acknowledges discomfort and communicates it to those around. Furthermore, SHE modifies behavior based on those sensations.  

What does this look like for a grown-up SHE? I think it means we tell someone when we aren’t feeling well. In a world where “I’m fine” rolls off the tongue as easily as “hello,” I think it’s important we tell someone when we aren’t fine.

I think it means we skip a morning workout when we didn’t get enough sleep the night before. I think it means we eat something green when everything for the last few days has been a shade of brown. A miniSHE listens to her body and doesn’t question it.

SHE Tries Again

It’s a common sight in a dance class.  A little one is mindlessly twirling and plop! On the ground she goes. She runs as hard and fast as her little legs will go and leaps over the imaginary river only to land on all fours. Tumbles happen all of the time, but do you know that the best part is? It’s when she stands up again.

She may have hit the floor hard and tears came streaming down, but she stood up and tried again.

She may have barely tripped and just giggled as she kept going, but she kept going. The miniSHEs try again. Some of them go take that leap again immediately after falling. Some need to wait a minute to recover and rejoin the class on the next step.

There’s no wrong way to try again.

If you don’t get the job you wanted but you apply for a different one that is trying again. If you don’t finish the kids’ laundry but you get them to school the next morning that is trying again. MiniSHEs show us that you can cry over a scraped knee and you can twirl until you absolutely collapse.

In your own way and in your own time, you try again.

Whether SHE is a daughter, granddaughter, sister, niece, or friend, I hope you give a miniSHE in your life a hug today. Remind her how strong she is, how smart she is, and how capable she is. While you’re at it, let the power of HER love seep into your veins. Use HER confidence and resilience to put wind in your sails and keep going.

dance dance dance dance dance dance dance dance

ICYMI: Check out others in our #miniSHEs series Holding Hands In The DarkDear Little OneCourtney Jones and MadisonBefore You Ask If SHEs Fat, & Bullying.

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