Speaking with an important Contributor

06-20 SB contributor

Let me take you back to November 10, 2020. In case you missed my blog post from that day, here it is again. I wrote extensively about a person who told me they were going to be a contributor to my book, “Conflicted with Joy” and then pulled out at the last minute. We are now in June of 2021. So much has happened since then. After much thought, I decided to go ahead and publish the blog post in which I talked about an exciting phone call from September 18, 2020. Just in case you missed my connection, the person from September 18 and November 10 is the same exact person.

Without further ado, let me fill you in on one super exciting phone call from last year.

Picture it. Friday, September 18, 2020. It was a regular school day with a new normal of virtual learning blaring in the living room with one high schooler and one fourth grader listening intently to teachers going through lesson plans on their laptops. On occasion, the cameras had to be turned on, which meant parents were not welcome or allowed to “walk by,” which also meant crawling to the kitchen to be off-camera was the next best solution.

It was another normal day for us as a family. Yet, there was something unusual that took place that afternoon. I had an incredible extended phone conversation with an important woman from Joy of Motion dance studio. For two weeks prior to that date, we had been having ongoing e-mail and text conversations. This woman was a pivotal part of its history. I had met this woman by accident the year before. She happened to be present during my daughters’ end-of-year dance performance with the studio in June 2019.

When I first met this woman two years prior, I was flabbergasted, to say the least. I couldn’t believe she was still alive because she wasn’t mentioned in any of the studio’s literature. To me, the woman looked so elegant and poised and so put-together. She didn’t look a day over 40. During the post performance at my daughters’ recital, we all celebrated outside just marveling at their dance performances. They did a great job, as always. We were celebrating our first successful year of intense drives, classes, and dedication to a dance studio we knew would become our permanent home for dance education.

The fact that this important woman was there was the cherry on top of an already ecstatic day. I quickly photographed the woman, received her business card, and promised her I’d call her to talk some more. Unfortunately, I never called because I got so busy. After a nice summer break, the dance classes started back up at Joy of Motion. The rigorous routine was exhausting. It was a long-term goal for me to profile this woman, but it wasn’t in the cards. Yet.

After the dance recital of June 2019, the next big event happened in March 2020. The pandemic hit, and everyone was struggling to hoard toilet paper and find yeast to bake bread. Unfortunately, the dance teachers at Joy of Motion had it rough. Parents were notified of information and changes to the dance studio on a carefully worded need-to-know-basis. The strangeness continued for months. Finally, on August 18, 2020, I resigned myself to the fact that my beloved dance studio would be a thing of the past, with any hopes of long-term dance education effectively flushed away into the toilet.

Not one to rest too long on my laurels, I made a decision that on that very fateful day, which was August 18, 2020, I was going to tell my story about Joy of Motion in my own words. For several weeks, I contacted Joy of Motion staff as well as former Joy of Motion dance teachers who formed their own spinoff group. The response was limited and, in some cases, nonexistent, at best. However, the key figure I had met the year before suddenly became very important again.

Successful emails and text messages and honest replies to questions led to the development of an initial level of trust. This woman trusted me and was willing to give me a shot. Terrific. I felt I had broken down some barriers to finally access the truth. I knew the big one was coming, but I wasn’t sure exactly how big or meaningful it would become.

We decided to have a “quick touching base phone conversation to say ‘hi’” before setting forth another specific day to have an official interview. What ended up happening extended itself to two full hours in which this woman talked about several key aspects of her relationship with Joy of Motion. A lot of discussion took place that I already knew about. Some of it was a downright surprise, even shock. At least one anecdote was incredibly fortuitous and hard to believe, mirroring some of the strange coincidences Amanda experienced, too…

If this sounds interesting to you, you are going to love my upcoming debut nonfiction book, “Conflicted with Joy,” coming soon.

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