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Closing the studio & letting go

The beauty and sadness of letting go.

After many anxious hours, days, months of reflection, and many sleepless nights, I have decided to close the studio and let it go. At least in its beautiful physical form in downtown Brainerd. I started this journey over 2 years ago with the downtown destination contest. I wanted a studio so I could build a supportive, fun community of women who come together to dance and connect. I wanted to offer people a safe space to be themselves, create, grow and express themselves.

It took me years of bouncing around the area at other studios to finally get the courage to leap and try for my own studio. I took the jump in March of 2020, we were open for 10 glorious days, then the great thing hit and it created quite a challenge to stay open. Most of my consistent, loyal student base evaporated into thin air almost overnight. I was shocked and uncertain of what to do next so I jumped into figuring out online options for my students.

Although I'm not tech savvy I made it happen. I enlisted the help of awesome coaches, a support group and did a LOT of research. I upped my marketing game, got more consistent in my social media and started email newsletters. I put all of my energy into making the studio work because of my love for the art, my students and wanting to build a community. Even though I was trying so hard I kept feeling MAJOR resistance and I had a pit in my stomach saying this isn't where I'm supposed to be. Then there were so many behind the scenes stresses that started to pile up and overwhelm me, it was like swimming upstream. Dance went from being my loving creative outlet to draining me of my energy and joy and taking time for my family.

My dream is to build this amazing connected community but I was still receiving limited support and attendance, understandably. I am deeply grateful for those who stayed till the end to support me and cheered me on, but it wasn't enough and I needed to be there for MYSELF again and my family. Being a teacher and studio owner entails WAY more than people assume. Many hours of time and so much energy goes into building each lesson and the material and administrative work.

So I decided to let it finally go. I felt it deep in my heart/soul and soon as I recognized it, I felt a release in my being. I also reflected on if I would still teach or even dance anymore. But I decided not to quit these things because I love them so much. I will however, be changing things up in the way I teach and when/where I teach.

I went through a full spectrum of intense emotions: deep sadness, more uncertainty, feelings of failure and not being good enough/strong enough to keep it going are my skills as a teacher even wanted/needed? What if people were finally going to start coming this next session? It was nerve-racking to be honest, and I REALLY love that beautiful studio so much. Now I'm finally in a space of finding the beauty and liberation in letting go of the studio and this dream. I am still sad, and it's difficult that my day job is quite literally across the street, but I am looking forward to new adventures and new energy to put towards something else.

What am I doing next?

I am taking a little break and not rushing things, but I am also working on a new online studio (Movement Garden Studio online). I love my vocabulary, Bonsai Dance, and I'm excited to refine it and it's counterpart, Elemental Flow even more. I am also returning to troupe practice with my dear dance sisters, Jennie and Tonia which brings true joy to my heart.

I am taking a break from teaching weekly classes for the time being but online recorded classes are coming soon-ish. I would LOVE to do some traveling to teach Bonsai Dance in new places and start growing the Bonsai tribe. I have been slowly returning to my karate practice and I'm hoping to get deeper into it this year. I'm also illustrating my second kids book, and enjoying the process of that. I'll definitely be exploring my many interests such as books, herbs, plants, gardening, nature, crafting and spirituality.

It's definitely hard letting go but it's so worth it in the end. I have plenty to fill in that space in my heart where the studio was and I'm excited to grow! Thank you for reading and I hope to see you on my next adventure!

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Sabrina Dunham
Sabrina Dunham
Nov 11, 2021

I'm so sorry I never made it back to you! You are a great teacher and from what I know an amazing person! I'm sorry you had to let it go! I'm happy your not going to stop dancing, your amazing at it and I can tell it makes your heart happy! I always wanted to be a part of your community and I know it would have been really good for me. Life always seems to keep me busy though! I hope your new adventure is amazingly awesome!!!

Megg Shepard
Megg Shepard
Nov 13, 2021
Replying to

Thank you so much for the kind words dear💓 I hope you are doing well🤗

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