Don’t Doubt…DANCE it OUT!!!

DanceItOutWhen in Doubt… DANCE it out!

Can you hear it? No, not the “voice in your head”silly. The Music!!
It’s always there within your reach. Everyone has a song or tune that speaks to them, touches their souls and inspires their inner well-being.

So… what’s your “signature tune?”

You know the one, the song that — no matter what — you will sing out loud in your car or shower; the one to which you will always get up and DANCE!

A playback button pushed or keyboard clicked will start the music that may be the one thing needed to create new ideas and chase those troubles away. So turn it up! Crank the volume and DANCE.
Okay, full disclosure. I am Dance Teacher, so music is an important part of the job, but I’m also a Wife, Mom, Writer and Editor so I’m tossing an eclectic mix of “personalities” into the world. It can get a little stressful at times, but I have always been one for multitasking. Music & Dance have been and always will be my default solutions to my challenges.

Thus my motto: “When in Doubt…Dance it out!”

To me, MUSIC and DANCE combined is actually the solution to nearly anything.
– Let’s say you have a PowerPoint of important graphics/sales forecasting, or photos from your recent vacation. Watch it for one minute. Now add MUSIC and watch it again; any difference?
– You are on a road trip to your next sales meeting, in a convertible (because it sounds fun), top down. Yes, the sound of the wind whipping through your hair is nice, but turn up a favorite tune? It is SO much better.
– You have been wracking your brain with an overwhelming problem to solve. Play a little music, and you may just find the answer. It’s the standard ‘walk away from a challenge; take a breath to get a fresh view’ technique with a little zing to make you sing.

Consider a myriad of everyday events made better by music and dance:
-The movie trailer with the voice overs, but without dramatic music? No Way!
-The sports event without the musical interludes, or cheers…Not even…
– The climactic scene in a thriller video without drums beating or ominous music… I don’t think so.
-A bride walking down the aisle in total silence… weird.
-The world famous university marching band entering the field quietly… can’t even imagine!
Dance is all about steps. Heck so is life, family and business. So listen to a favorite singer or band and begin moving forward, one step at a time. If you are the more adventurous type, you could even add a leap or spin… oooooh!
Make some noise! Get some ideas! Build your business! Have fun with your family!

Don’t Doubt.

Dance. It. Out.
Ps: Animals love music too! –> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G3bwpBuHgTU&sns=em

G.I.F.T.S. 5 simple tips for powerful PRESENTations

©2013 In the Company of Ideas

©2013 In the Company of Ideas

As a former product development specialist, I had to be creative in designing, researching and developing new products for our industry. (When the words ‘product’, ‘specialist’ and ‘development’ are in your job title, creativity is a must.) I was also in charge of presenting these products to our National Sales Force.  It was my job to present them with the tools and “gifts” needed to help them sell more. I often thought of myself as a product cheerleader. I needed to focus their attention on the new product, make it personal, and exciting to them. Once they were charged up then I had to give the information they needed to do their job, which is to get their customers equally excited, and ready to issue purchase orders.

I used an acronym, as I often do, to present/sell the product at our National Sales Meeting in Naples, Fl. (Okay, so the use of letters is not unique. But for remembering, sometimes simpler is better.) The acronym “G.I.F.T.S.” offers tips not only for a memorable sales presentation in front of a large audience, it works well in smaller settings too. The tips can also be used when writing a piece for your target audience or giving a personal gift to a family member or friend. The goal…to have a satisfied customer backed up with some product passion.

Here is what works for me:

Get Personal. I tapped into their emotions, and set goals.

Interact. I listened to the needs of each region and their representatives, while investing the time needed to get the job done. (Or listen to thoughts of your audience, readers or family members).

Face time. Be expressive. That is my normal mode so this one is easy for me. Get up on the stage. Act out a scenario. Sing. Dance. Present the facts in a way they did not expect. Focus on the most important fact first with an appropriate lead in to get their attention. (This can easily be expressed in the written word as well).

Tell a Story. Make them laugh. A mind at play is always creative and receptive to new ideas. (“Play” is Profitable).

Surprise! I always kept them guessing as to what I’ll do next. The element of surprise in a presentation always grabs attention. (Even the nay-sayers perk up).

So whether you are planning a large presentation, writing a new piece or even presenting a unique home-made movie to your families…use your own “gifts” to make it a truly memorable one.

Celebrate your gifts

Share your gifts

Can you hear the applause? Can you feel the gratitude expressed?

That’s for YOU and a job well done.

Collaboration Stew – Your Recipe for Success

collaborationYour Recipe for Success.

“As you navigate through the rest of your life, be open to collaboration. Other people and other people’s ideas are often better than your own. Find a group of people who challenge and inspire you, spend a lot of time with them, and it will change your life.” – Amy Poehler

Absolutely amazing things can happen when two creative minds get together. A great current example comes from Justin Timberlake and Jimmy Fallon. Together they play, sing, act and create MAGIC. #ViralMagic.

So I wonder what we can learn from their success.  #GreatExample! Sometimes collaboration begins with a simple conversation, an idea communicated among friends, even a story shared by an author to a crowd. For instance, I had a “date” with sportswriter/author Mitch Album (who penned many books including “Tuesdays with Morrie” and the latest novel “A Phone Call from Heaven”). You can read about that “date” here -> #MyTuesdaywithMitch. Although I listened more than I talked, it was a collaboration of sorts. I learned from a mentor, which in turn reignited my passion for writing and creativity.

We can all inspire each other through collaboration. For instance the Collaboration Definition from Merriam Webster: 1:  to work jointly with others or together especially in an intellectual endeavor — speaks volumes to the entertainment industry. So why not use it more in the business world or personal endeavors. Sometimes it can turn out widely successful, sometimes widely not, but hey, why not give a try? The best “epic fails” can be the most learned from experiences. The ones that DO work… are Amazing!

So I suggest you “Stir Up” some thought-provoking “Collaboration Stew” Recipes for Success:

  1. Who inspires you? What company? Is there a specific book or author that speaks to you? Read. Listen. Learn.
  2. Research the things that motivate you, the background behind their philosophies and the many paths they had to travel to reach the current destination.
  3. Find YOUR successful sidekick. Someone that shares your values. Or maybe not. Because if you are “challenged” in a good way then perhaps you can stretch your mind even further.
  4. Or find someone you believe in. Reach out. It only takes one question, one email, one tweet, one phone call and one hi, to start up a conversation. You’ll never know unless you ASK.
  5. Mentor someone. Share your success with others. Learn from successful people. Get creative and “collaborate” your way to new ideas.
  6. Add to this list. I’d like to collaborate with you on building this list. #CollaborationStew

5 Gifts of Life I have learned from my 4 year old Pre-ballerinas

Find your signature hue. The world is a blank canvas, and YOU can add all the color your precious heart desires. Hold the paintbrush in your hands and find the color that defines you right now because 5-10 minutes from now, it may morph into another, equally beautiful hue. I can hear the young dancers state their fairy wing color preferences of the day…

“Pink with Sparkles!” “Every color in the world!” “Blue with yellow polka dots!” “Purple with black swirls!” “Rainbow!” “Green, orange, and blue with pink flowers!” “No! Wait! How about…!”

Now Paint! Without overthinking, without second-guesses. Just paint, add pigment, throw in water, and mix it up. This is YOUR painting. The finished product will always hold a special place in your life’s gallery.

Touch the stars. They are tiny windows to the universe. They bring us out of darkness, and seemingly shine when we need them the most. They glimmer with hope, love and promise. Even when we think we can’t reach one anymore….we can. Go ahead. Touch them. And remember they are not always in the sky. They also shine through those around us.

Dancers up on their toes, arms lifting as high as they can reach. Reaching to the ends of their fingertips. They close their eyes and feel the heat of the light. A spin may follow as their arms extend even higher. Smiles seems to grow with their stretching. They are shining in the moment, just as the stars encompass the world in its moment.

Sing your admirations. Loud. From your heart. Like you are singing for thousands.

Uninhibited Joy unfolds as we play a favorite song in the class. Grabbing our scarves, we sing as if each was the only person in the room. Turn on your internal microphone. Crank up the volume, because this is YOUR song. It that touches your soul and moves your spirit. Sing!

Imagine. Envision. Get lost in the story. Pretend.

That’s all the pre-ballerinas require to get-away…a mind with imagination not quieted by negative internal ego. With their wheels turning, they visit oh so many places, they create, and innovate. Inspiring.

Pretend you are whoever you want to be… right now. There’s no one saying “you can’t do this” because it’s YOUR place to visit…in your head.

DANCE without inhibition, with abandoned enthusiasm. Shake it out! Feel the music, dance from your inner core, and within your soul. Feel the energy you are creating.

My hearts overflows while we dance together. I am entertained to the core. The young ones move without apprehension, they jump and turn with JOY, they don’t carry any burdens in that moment. The music is on and they must DANCE. They MUST dance. The music is ON!! 🙂

These are Five unassuming, important skills I learn every class…

in a dance studio bursting with the future of this world

and giftwrapped in a tutu.

 

The Simple Power of Play

Play Today!

©2013 Dancinmoma

A new employee walking toward the glass-walled boardroom sees people in ‘business casual’ attire knocking around brightly colored balloons. She hears them yelling joyfully and wonders, “What is going on? Are they actually …working?” The smell of freshly brewed coffee permeates the air as the art director reaches across to smack the red balloon in the air. Two giggling copywriters dive for the same green balloon to keep it off the floor. Pop! Smack! Then an orange balloon is catapulted in the air accompanied by a triumphant, “Yes!”

The “scene” just described was common in my work experience virtually every morning, particularly as we began our annual Design Book photo shoot planning sessions. After friendly exchanges among floral designers, writers, models, photographers and support staff, the creative meeting would commence. My job as Project Manager was to keep all elements on schedule, maintain quality, promote teamwork, and ensure that ideas flowed freely. The team was expected to create unique concepts and floral arrangements that had not been seen before. With a team of talented professionals eager for action, I found that starting out our day with a little play ignited creative fires within everyone. Each day had a surprise of fun that tapped into everyone’s inner child. This simple concept delivered AMAZING results for each of us professionally and for the company’s product offerings.

So I invite you to pick up a balloon.

Start batting it around.

Tap into your creativity and just PLAY.

This action works wonders within your business and family. Whether you’re trying to solve a vexing problem, come up with an idea, or create something new; enjoy the moment in front of you and eliminate the potential for negative inner thoughts. PLAY with your co-workers or family members. There may be a frown or two from employees who do not fully understand the creative process. Don’t let that stop you. If the idea produces sales, helps you write a chapter or creates a unified team, people will eventually start bouncing around their own balloons.

Many successful companies are now embracing this play in many forms, supported by open area workspaces, sports-related activities, brightly colored walls, mood lighting, and more. What creative activity can you do to improve productivity and generate new sales for your company and yourself? Start with a little balloon play and work up from there.

The power of play can enhance relationships. When it comes down to it, relationships in business and families are what LIFE is all about. Even the relationship within YOU may need some fun.

CHALLENGE YOURSELF…

  • Create together.
  • Laugh together.
  • Jump up and down together.
  • Dance.
  • Act like a child for a moment.
  • Think.
  • Problem Solve.
  • Change the scenery and embrace… the POWER of PLAY…

Then let me know how many balloons your team manages to keep from hitting the floor.

Note: This is a post I originally wrote as a Featured Contributor for SheOwnsIt.com – it was previously published in July of 2013.

Rise up on your “Elevator” Ride!

Jesse Jackson QuoteHow many times do you hear the saying “rise up to the occasion?”

How often do you respond and actually do it? Does it take a sales meeting, a weather related emergency, a sporting event, an advertising pitch, a failure, or a creative session? Or perhaps it takes a minor emergency with your family or a loved one?

What motivates you to RISE?

In the dance world we teach “relevé” which means ‘to rise’. (re•le•vé [rel-uh-vey; French ruhluh-vey]) For the younger student, I often refer to it as their ballet “elevator.” It will get them from a lower position to an even higher one. We can learn from this, out of habit, do you usually go to the “same floor” in your “elevator?” You go there every day, well, because…. that’s what is expected of you. You are in your comfort zone. However, even YOU can use this dance ‘elevator’ to rise up to YOUR occasion. Stop and stand for a moment. Lift your heels off the ground, and then look around. Physically you’re a little higher; you’ve stretched a bit farther. You may even notice a subtle difference in the view of your world.

Today, I challenge you to rise to a different floor.

Feel the positive momentum of your floor rising, up, up, up until you have reached your new destination today. The elevator doors open on a new location with a new perspective. Exactly what you needed for that new idea, for that problem needing to be solved, that superb sales pitch, the book you’re trying to write, that team you will face.

Each morning the sun will rise, and each time the hues or colors will stir up new views. Each sunrise provides a new hope of the day ahead and a refreshing point of view. There are days it seems to go fast and there are days it is very gradual. But the sun will always rise and so should we.

Now sit down, pause and slowly rise to your feet. Now sit down and jump up even higher…. Rise up! Rise to the occasion whatever it may be. Stand strong to your convictions, believe in yourself, grab hands with your teammates in life and have faith in the possibilities.

Lift your heels and see the view…

You have risen to a new height!

What do YOU see?

Star Light….

YOU can be a STAR.

A star radiates light, beauty and twinkles in the darkness. To some, they hold our deepest wishes and thoughts. They don’t discriminate; they welcome all to see their beauty at any place in the world. That is the one thing that humanity shares… anyone, on any given night, can look up and enjoy the true celestial beauty above us.

“I will love the light for it shows me the way,
Yet I will endure the darkness because it shows me the stars.”
Og Mandino quotes (American Essayist and Psychologist, 1923-1996)

Stars create PEACE.

Stars create LOVE.

Stars are all-encompassing and luminous.

Stars SHINE from within.

Stars create HOPE.

Stars can give us FAITH.

Stars have a power that can inspire anyone from any background.

We are all STARS in a sense, in this universe of amazing things. We radiate our emotions to others and we sit side by side in hope & faith. We can share love to our friends & family, and we can create a sense of peace among us.

Do you feel like a STAR? What can you do to radiate and sparkle in your life?

As dusk settles in, and the warmth of sunlight transforms into darkness, sit in silence and look up.

Star Light will always be present in any dark moments.

Be aware.

Be present.

Be that luminous STAR.

And

SHINE ON….

“To be a star, you must shine your own light,
Follow your own path, and don’t worry about the darkness,
For that is when the stars shine brightest”
– Anonymous

 “To be a star, you must shine your own light...."

A star-forming region in the Large Magellanic Cloud.NASA/ESA image

“Hitch your wagon to a star.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson (American essayist, lecturer, and poet, 1803 – 1882

“Star light, Star bright,
first star I see tonight…
I wish I may, I wish I might, see that star I wish tonight.”
– English Nursery Rhyme (trad.)

When you wish upon a star,
makes no difference who you are, Anything your heart desires can come to you”
– Jiminy Cricket (Animated philosopher and conscience of Pinocchio) ®Walt Disney Company