Every year I gather my All That Jazz Dance Studio staff together for our annual pre-school year studio kick-off party. We have everyone’s families/husbands over to our house in Newton and we all gather around my dining room table and eat, drink and just genuinely enjoy discussing the prospect of seeing all of our students and getting back to our dance classes. Of course, as with everything this summer, Covid altered this tradition- slightly.
No husbands and no kids. Just us dance teachers and instead of my dining room table, it was on our deck. (And, ironically, finished up in our garage going over all of the technology that we will be using this year!) But, the pared down party this year made me realize just how much I adore my All That Jazz faculty.
These six women are quite simply extraordinary. Our core group has been together for SEVEN years! And, the only “newbie” is entering her 3rd year as a teacher, but she was a student at All That Jazz for 10 years until she graduated in 2016. Our most veteran All That Jazz teacher, Miss Heather Myers, has been an integral of the dance studio staff for 16 years. SIXTEEN YEARS. How many people can say that they have had the pleasure of working beside the same people for all of these years and still not just like them, but truly respect and value them?
I have attended four of their weddings. We have welcomed four children over the past 16 years into our dance family. Our lives are intertwined in the best kind of a way. My dance studio and, most importantly, our dance students mean just as much to these dedicated teachers as they all do to me.
The All That Jazz dance teachers are role models for all of their students. In an industry where dance teachers come and go, I am so grateful and proud of the fact that we are such a cohesive and lasting unit. No, not a unit- more like a family!
When I opened All That Jazz Dance Studio in Newton 23 years ago, I taught all of the dance classes for kids myself. After I became pregnant with my daughter in 2003, I was forced to hire my first teacher. I remember walking out of the studio that first night in tears. How could I trust my beloved students to someone else?
I guess the answer is… I am not simply entrusting just anybody to teach our children dance lessons. I have hired the most incredible, smart, enthusiastic, energetic, loyal, funny, kind, talented, I could go on and on, local dance teachers. Their dance knowledge and dance classes are beyond compare. Because, they are beyond compare.
Year after year after year. I am proud and blessed to have worked alongside these incredible women. Pandemic or no pandemic, the All That Jazz faculty is so excited to kick off our 23rd year! And, hopefully, maybe even as soon as our annual holiday faculty party in December, we will once again be able to gather around my dining room table with our families, just simply enjoying each other’s company.
Deb Vogel, Director of All That Jazz Dance Studio/ 330 Watertown St in Newton, MA