I once heard someone say that all dancers eventually end up in either LA or New York City. I guess I didn’t escape such a fate, but I never thought when I settled in South Orange County, California, build a dance studio and following, put an addition on our home to create ideal rooms and offices, and began the incredible journey of Dance Your Truth that it wouldn’t be a permanent move.
Here I was, mid season with my dance company, enjoying the heck out of the developments and things I was learning, and I had this small, random thought that entered my brain one morning. I was looking at homes for sale in our neighborhood out of curiosity, and the thought planted itself in my head “You haven’t looked at homes in Florida for a while.” Those ten words will never be forgotten as they drastically changed the course of my life.
I started looking in Kissimmee, a city south of Orlando that we had stayed at on previous family trips to Florida. The first thing I noticed is that the homes were beautiful, with archways and PROPERTY. You don’t get property in SoCal. I saw these gorgeous, inexpensive homes with 5 acres each, and I started to drool a little bit. I showed Michael, with a “Just looking for fun!” and he said, we should go out and look at them for investment homes (a goal we have talked about before). I looked at our schedule (it was Monday) and said, we could fly out late Thursday and come back Monday. And we booked it.
Taking all 5 kids on the red-eye, and seeing 6 homes in one day the following day was brutal, but I noticed an interesting thought process that day. I tried with all I had to look at these as investment homes, and no more than vacation homes for us, but I couldn’t. Every home was measured up against what I wanted for my family. Are there enough rooms? Is there room to grow our family more through adoption? Is there space to play? And are there options for a dance studio? I couldn’t stop these thoughts no matter how hard I logicked myself through it.
And then came THE home. It was like every passing thought of things I’d liked in homes, things I’d admired, things I’d talked about wanting, things I’d even THOUGHT about, were all in this home. And five acres of beautiful land. I said to Michael, “I could live here.” Those four words are the ones that he will remember, when he knew the direction of our search had changed. We saw this house again on Monday after spending Saturday at Universal Studios, Sunday at the church we’d go to and being treated REALLY well. Within days we had put in an offer, and the following week we were under contract.
But now what? The question I heard dozens of times was “What about your dance company?” For a few brief moments they considered moving with me, but I can tell you that the conversation to tell them about our move was heart wrenching for me. I love these dancers more than any I have worked with. They WERE Dance Your Truth to me. They were everything I needed, everything I wanted as I developed my own, unique and original and life changing program. I hated that part the very most about our decision.
But, I gave them a project to give back, to finish out their contracts that went until July (we moved in May). They are creating a show based on all they have learned, and doing it somewhere they can uplift others. I look forward to it.
And next? Well, I will establish Elle Vie Dance out here as well, with Dance Your Truth as the main focus. I have talked to two studios already who LOVE my platform, and have asked me to come teach workshops, one of which will be advertised at Orlando’s official location for National Dance Day next month. The response out here has been AMAZING. People have said things to me like “Have you been in my head this last year?” and “You have come to the right place.” Which is so comforting when you uproot everything to move across the country to an area you know nothing about.
And so, very soon, I will be looking for new dancers, new opportunities. It will be different here, it will have to be. I will be doing so much more mentoring, teaching, and establishing programs here than before. And so very much that only time and God will tell. Until it all makes sense, I am running an online based DYT program for dancers of all ages and levels, soon to be blasted out on social media, but for a preview here it is: