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My Decision To Open YMM DANCE COMPANY

Here we go!!! Yes, I have done it! I have taken a leap of faith and I am taking the next step in my dance career.  I am proud and thrilled to announce that YMM Dance Company will be opening its doors Summer 2018!!

Before I get into more detail let me start by introducing myself, my name is Melinda Richter and I am the Owner and Artistic Director of YMM Dance Company. I’m not going to lie, I was a little nervous about writing a blog. I mean for starters, those who know me know that I’m not the best speller and I have horrible grammar. However, I decided to take my own advice that I tell my dancers every day. “Step outside your comfort zones.” This time it is my turn, so I did. I am outside of my comfort zone and I can’t wait to share this journey with you all. I will answer all those questions I know so many of you are wondering. So, let’s start with the main one!

Why? Well, this is something I have always wanted to do, but the thought of leaving the kids was one of the hardest things I truly had to prepare myself for. I started teaching full time at twenty years old and for nine years I got to see many of these kids grow up before my eyes. Heck, they watched me grow up! I created bonds that were truly something special. I knew opening a studio some dancers would follow me, and some wouldn’t, but the thought of not seeing all of them was truly the hardest part. I see these kids more than I see my own family, but there comes a point when you know its time to move forward. You just hope the family that you love so much would understand, be proud of you, and support your decision.

This is something I have always wanted to do, but the thought of leaving the kids was one of the hardest things I truly had to prepare myself for.

For me, personally, I made the decision because I finally believed in myself. See, looking back, I don’t think I truly ever believed in myself. Yup, you read that right! On the outside, I look confident, but on the inside, I was still that seventeen-year-old dancer who was told would never be a dancer and I should pick a different career path. Or maybe, I was still the twenty-three-year-old that was told I was too young to run a business; and that no one would trust me as a studio director. People did always ask me when was I going to do my own thing, and I always doubted myself. I held on to the negativity I grew to know so well, and then, one day it was gone!

I was teaching a class one day, and I had my “Oprah AH HA” moment. I was telling a student to give herself more credit, that she was a beautiful dancer, and that if she just believed in herself she would grow so much more. That was “the moment” that changed everything for me. I didn’t give myself enough credit. Like many of my dancers, I had forgotten to tell myself how amazing I really was. I decided that day, that I was going to keep telling my dancers this, and that I needed to do the same thing for me.  I was going to finally follow my dreams because if I did maybe one day when one of my dancers, who were doubting their dreams, could look at me and think she did it! And if she believed in herself and followed her dream, no matter how hard that was, so can I!

So here I go! Bring on the 5…6…7…8 journey of opening up a dance studio. I can’t wait to see what the future holds but the one thing I know for sure is that if you want something you never had…you have to do something you never done before.