Inclusion – our fourth highlighted Core Value

Inclusion.  And… we return to highlighting our Core Values at All That Jazz in my monthly newsletter!  In case you missed or wish to revisit my previously highlighted values of Family, Passion & Fun and Teamwork, you can find them on our blog.  While all of our Core Values are important to me, Inclusion has a special place in my heart.  I opened All That Jazz 24 years ago with the desire to give all children the opportunity to dance in a safe, warm and welcoming place.  All these years later, this philosophy and desire to include all children, regardless of learning styles, body shape, or gender has only deepened.

Earlier this fall, a parent expressed to me how grateful she was because All That Jazz has given her daughter who has a serious learning disorder and other anxiety issues a wonderful outlet week after week, year after year.  She said that while a lot of schools and other places who work with children say they are inclusive and truly wish to be inclusive, at All That Jazz, we have found that healthy balance and just are inclusive.  This kind of compliment meant the world to me.

I can’t tell you how many times over the years parents have called me before classes begin to say that their child can’t concentrate in school, or they can’t make friends, or they have such severe anxiety that there is a strong chance they won’t even be able to make it through a class, much less a recital.  Every time, my response is always the same.  “No worries, we got you.”  That’s not to say that everything, child and class is always perfect- far from it!  But, we understand that this is the beauty of teaching kids.  And, the reward is real and tangible.  

You will see this reward for yourself at the recitals on May 30th.  But, we teachers see it every class all year long.  Our students are kind and accepting of one another.  If someone is struggling (in any capacity), inevitably, another child is there with a word of encouragement, a hug, or even just a fist bump.  In the studio, it doesn’t matter what level reader you are, how many playdates you have each week, or how many A’s were on your most recent report card.  Everyone is treated the same at All That Jazz and there is plenty of love and respect to go around for all.  And, that is the embodiment of my dream come true from all those years ago.

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