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Kindness Matters

A few weeks have passed and I am late writing this blog post. Time has a way of getting away from me lately... but when you see somebody have such a positive impact on a loved one, it's never too late to say thank you.

Last year I attended a dance recital for two of my daycare littles. It was precious... seeing all of the dancers in their bright costumes... dancing their hearts out for their proud parents. Aside from the adorable littles, I found myself so impressed by Miss Meg. Meg is the owner and dance instructor at Signature Dance Studio and she is a ball of positive energy! The kids absolutely love her and to see her interacting with them was inspiring. I left that recital knowing that I was going to go home and talk to my 15 year old about attending classes at Signature Dance that fall. Maddy eats, breathes and sleeps everything musical theater. I knew that dance classes would benefit her... I had no idea how much of an impact that Miss Meg would have on her.

It didn't take long for Maddy to become a huge fan of

Miss Meg. Her high energy, positive encouragement and love for her students puts her far above and other instructor that Maddy has worked with in the past. Maddy's dancing has improved so much and her confidence has soared.

In talking with Miss Meg one evening after class, I told her that I had done "behind the scenes" photos of our high school musical and she asked if I would be interested in doing that for this years recital... of course, I was thrilled to do it! I started with their show rehearsal and melted with the Daddy/Daughter Dance! Meg had added a class for Daddy's to join their little girls on stage for a special dance at the recital... SWEETNESS OVERLOAD!

Now, when you are dealing with tiny littles... they get nervous and going on stage in front of an audience can be pretty scary. Dad of the Year Award goes to one of the fathers that joined his little one for the Daddy/Daughter Dance. His sweet little one was feeling some pretty serious stage fright and after much gentle encouragement, she wasn't budging. So... he joined her on stage for her dance number... and he danced with the group.... seriously one of the highlights!

Throughout my day I did very few posed shots... my mission was to catch the "real" as that is my photography style anyway. Of course there were a few that saw the camera and took advantage of it...

As I followed this little group out into the hallway, I was flooded by the sound of giggles and tears. The hallway was filled with tiny dancers waiting to go on stage and their nerves had gotten the best of them. As I was walking through... it seemed that one out of every six were in tears. There was a Mommy volunteering and she was trying to console them as best as she could but it was a lot for one Mama to handle so I put my camera down and sat down on the floor to wipe some tears and offer some words of encouragement...

As I wiped the tears off one sweet little face, she said though a flood of tears, "I want my Mommy." I assured her that her Mommy was in the audience waiting to see her dance and was so proud of her and waiting to see her as soon as she was finished..." and I headed out to take photos from backstage. When I came back out into the hallway a short time later, I was once again reminded of the awesomeness of Miss Meg. Where I had left a pile of tears and tutus a few minutes earlier was Miss Meg sitting in the middle of them all leading a sing-a-long... "If you're happy and you know it, clap your hands..." and the smiles were back as they stood up to get ready to head out on stage.

Miss Meg transformed the entire mood of all of those sweet little girls so quickly that they went out on that stage and danced their hearts out for their Mommy's and Daddy's. When they came off that stage, that sweet, little, four year old dancer that had sobbed for her Mommy as I wiped her tears, gave me a big smile and a high five! As the recital (appropriately named Kindness Matters) came to a close, Miss Meg handed out awards to her dancers and struggled to maintain her composure... a testament to the pure emotion that she puts into what she does.

I was impressed when I attended the recital last year but after photographing behind the scenes... but I find myself honored to have been able to see and share a little behind the scenes of the second SDS recital. I am beyond thrilled that we found Miss Meg and that Maddy has the opportunity to continue to be inspired by such a talented, caring and motivating dance instructor. Thank you for all that you do, Miss Meg!

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