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  • Writer's pictureLynn Armsby

Giving Back

Whether you own a dance studio or teach out of a village hall you will be concerned with making a profit to make the whole thing worthwhile. By constantly planning different classes and events, continuous advertising, and engaging in social media we all try to recruit and retain.

However we are in a people business, which might suggest that we actually like people and some of us feel that dance is good for the soul and brings something special to people in their lives. So let’s consider how this basic instinct could work for us.

Let’s start by thinking what it feels like to receive a gift , either a present or someone’s time. You are excited and grateful that someone has thought enough about you to make an effort. Now think of what it is like to give a gift. Most people will get more pleasure from giving than receiving and science now backs this up. From our earliest time man has had the capacity and love to help others. This is more about how we perceive ourselves as humans and how we want to live our lives. More people than ever are doing altruistic actions.

Altruism is when we behave in a way which promotes the welfare of others even at a cost to ourselves. Scientific studies have shown that when we do good things it is recorded in the pleasure area of the brain. It is good for us.

This does not mean though that human beings do not have the capacity for selfishness. Our nature, sometimes our nurture is that we have to be competitive to be the best even if that means hurting others.

SO this is about making a living and also about making a life. As Winston Churchill once said: “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give”.

When you engage with the community and make a positive choice to give back remarkable things happen. Consider the person who comes into your studio and wants to have a dance or chat with you. You might be their only point of contact all week. What about a free lesson in a care home or getting your youngsters to do a display and talk about dancing to residents? You will feel good about yourself as a compassionate human being and a surprise by product may be more attention and publicity for your school.

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