I’m a mom of three kids who all attend Masterworks. I happen to love writing, so I’m helping offset the costs of my kids’ involvement by doing weekly blogs for the Masterworks website. There are many parents working behind the scenes to help Masterworks run smoothly including: cleaners, supervisors, costume helpers, and drivers. The work-for-trade option is just one of the many things I love about Masterworks Dance Studio.
What else do I love? I happen to love dance myself, and have actually taken classes with Masterworks—before my kids were born (and a year after). What I love about Masterworks is the positive environment. There is no pressure to have a certain body-type. Kids aren’t pushed into heavy competition before they’re ready, yet they are introduced to it through S.H.I.N.E. (more on that later). Teachers are personable and genuinely interested in their students.
A big one for me is the overall healthy approach to the body and dance overall healthy approach to the body and dance. You will never see a four-year-old dancing like you would expect a twenty-four-year-old to dance. Costumes are modest. Music is appropriate. You can attend your child’s recital with confidence, knowing that you’re not going to be shocked. I didn’t fully grasp how grateful I was for this until I attended the Manitoba Dance Festival and observed some of the other musical theatre classes in action.
Back to the costumes. I didn’t realize how fortunate we are at Masterworks until I learned how many studios handle costumes, with students buying each of their costumes (my sister-in-law paid $700 one year). Masterworks charges a rental fee for each class and puts together costumes for each recital from what they have on hand in their costume room, adding to their collection each year as they see fit. It’s a brilliant and sustainable use of resources. They also rent out dance shoes and hold an annual swap, so not everyone has to buy new shoes.
Which brings me to my final point: Masterworks makes it their aim to make the arts accessible. What a gift. Whether it’s subsidy, work-for-trade, or providing rides, Masterworks is giving more kids getting the chance to dance, sing, and create. I love that, don’t you? I guess I can put Masterworks down in my Gratitude Journal.
Thanksgiving week-end may be over for this year, but the act of giving thanks can go on throughout the entire year. Like all good habits, the habit of giving thanks must be intentionally cultivated. It is far too easy to complain in difficult circumstances or to take our blessings for granted. So, how do we practice gratitude?
Like anything that we practice (dance, music, athletics), we must decide it’s important. Then we make time for it. Sometimes that time is scheduled for us, and sometimes we must schedule it ourselves. When it’s up to us, how do we remember? We can remind ourselves through notes. That works until we stop noticing the notes.
One good way, is it to tie something in to what we already do naturally in our day. I decided on my birthday this year that I would do some simple strengthening and stretching exercises every day. When? Right after I got up in the morning. Since, I always get up in the morning, tying my exercises with that works. (Plus, I felt it was the only way I wouldn’t put it off). When we want to build a new habit, we are actually changing our thought processes and our way of life. We need all the help we can get!
Another important thing to consider when developing habits is to be specific. Saying, “I will give thanks more often” won’t likely get you very far. I recently bought myself a small notebook and I’ve decided to write down five things I’m thankful for every day for the rest of October. I want to make Thanksgiving last! I’m planning to do it every night before I go to bed.
In 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, the Bible says, “Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.” Whether you use a Gratitude Journal or think of another way to cultivate a thankful heart, I encourage you to plan a way to be more thankful every day.
We've officially taken off into this new year of dance, art, and musical theatre here at Masterworks. Classes are settling into a routine and students are getting to know one another and their teachers. Hopefully those unexpectedly cramped dance shoes from last year are getting replaced (inquire for rental or trade-in options) and the mysterious art of the hair bun has been mastered (ask your teacher for tips if you're still struggling).
We’ve said good-bye to a few teachers and hello to several new ones. As we continue through this year, we hope you’ll get to know our teachers better. Check back on this blog for interviews and “like” our Facebook Page to stay in touch.
A few changes to note as well: Teri-Lynn Friesen has taken on the role of Musical Theatre Director and Kim Hildebrand has taken her place as assistant director. Kristie Sidwall continues as director and you can get a glimpse of her vision for the studio here.
Upcoming dates where classes are cancelled:
Enjoy your year and the fall weather!