Lynn sold her business. She had to. Her husband? Lung cancer, early retirement, no more insurance. So she needed a real job with real benefits.
It’s not that she didn’t have a real job. She taught dance. For fifteen years she ran Lynn’s Academie of Dance. But that’s not enough of a real job to pay the bills for a family, for insurance.
So she sold the dance school.
On Saturday they had a recital. Forty-five girls, from 4 to 18.
It was probably like many dance recitals in many places.
But here’s Lynn’s legacy. Many dancers weren’t built like dancers. Not like the ballet dancers you see in the Joffrey. Not like the hip hop dancers in the videos, not like the tap dancers in the shows.
They are pretty much built like the kids you see in the ordinary classrooms in the ordinary schools in the ordinary towns. Some of them live with Down’s Syndrome. Some of them live with numbers on the BMI that are higher than recommended. In skin color, in distance from nose to toes, they varied. One of them even had white hair.
And all of these kids (and 5 adult students) flew. They spun, they tapped, they leapt, they laughed. Their pieces told stories. They leaned on each other. They lifted each other. Even for a non-dance observer, there was something happening that was, well, special.
And near the end, they did their own thing. They wrote their own tribute to Lynn, with their bodies, they wrote. Together the kids created. The older kids led the little ones on and off, carefully. And they danced with abandon, with passion. And they each went to her as the piece finished for one last touch.
Lynn hired teachers to teach from her heart. She allowed in kids who none of us would imagine could walk straight, let alone dance. And every single one of them flew straight from the stage to our hearts.
In fifteen years, Lynn Kuti created a community of young people that cared and created and did better than they dreamed. And in the meantime, they danced.
Small business people can do that, can create communities.
You can do that.
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Zane Safrit says
I loved this story. Thanks.
Miss Lynn is a remarkable woman and an outstanding teacher. And I think I should know, she’s taught me for seven years. We love you Miss Lynn!
“Anonymous,” very kind of you to post your appreciation for the redoubtable Miss Lynn.
Ms. Lynn is different than the other dance teachers I have worked with all through my dance life. She relates to us so well, and helps us grow as a dancer and as a person. We all love you Ms. Lynn
Hi, I am one of Ms. Lynn’s teachers as well as a good friend. I can’t thank you enough for the story I just read. I hope you know that not only have you inspired me to continue to teach, but have also inspired dancers(children) who might otherwise decide to not dance, because of what the dance world tells them is not acceptable , to continue to dance. Thank you… my only question is …. WHO ARE YOU?
The first anonymous is Lauren R.
The second is Audrey K!
Richard, thank you for asking. Lauren & Audrey, thank you for stepping out from the shroud of “Anonymous:” never a good way to post online.
Thank you all for commenting. Ms Lynn is truly inspiring and, apparently, unforgettable.
mrs.lynn is the best teacfer in the world she has taught me sence i was 2 i love her so
Shannon, thank you for adding your comment.
I know Ms Lynn is very, very happy to read your thoughts.
Can I ask who maesz is? No offense, but I want to know if I know you!
Anonymous, you can ask, but since you are afraid to identify yourself, why should I answer?
Be that as it may, I am feeling generous. So, here goes, I am Becky’s mother. In the 4 pictures near the top of the page, I am the old woman in the upper right shot. If you click on my pic, you can get scroll down to a short bio.
maesz – I got here as soon as I found out about the visits.
Becky’s mom, meet some of the dancers talked about in the post.
Dancers, meet Becky’s mom, who had nothing to do with this story, but has been left to greet visitors while Becky’s away.
who am i? I’m Jon Swanson. I wrote the post after coming to the recital as the uncle of one of the dancers. It was a great recital.
What is fun here, and challenging, is that a story written for a blog about small business is being visited by people who are described in the story, showing the power of the community that was created. It also shows what happens when local, face-to-face social networks share information about something online.
Dancers? Thanks for stopping by. You are seeing a blog that helps people in small businesses learn how to be more successful. I agree with Becky’s mom–in a blog like this, it’s important to identify yourself. It helps us with the conversation between business people.
mrs. Stanley Bubb says
I have had the rare opportunity to observe Lynn, to attend her classes, and to get to know her as a beloved freind, and a spiritual sister.
As a fellow Dance educator of 30 years, I found her ballet classes more amazing than many I have observed in much “tonier” and highly touted, and priced, schools of dance.
Her ballet ability soars far above mine, in the capactiy to teach and accomplish, skills I have only attempted on my older and far advanced students.
Lynn’s kids ssem to be born to pirouette,they know no fear, they DO “fly”, and I watched amazed at their eagerness…right or wrong…to take their individual turns across the floor. Each student, no matter how raw or how well-trained, was offered loving praise and complete attention from Lynn.
Although wheelchair bound for a long time, at that time, I was lucky to see her Holiday Ballet, and it was a darling delight. written by Lynn and students, as well, the ingenuity was apparent. She is a woman with vision.
I would take her on my staff, and turn my best dancer over to her, to let them experience her brand of magic.
God Bless you, Lynn.
You are a dance teacher of warmth, integrity, sincerity and I admore you and love you.
Mrs. Stanley Bubb
Mrs Stanley Bubb says
In addition, all of us who are dance educators and self employed by our own two legs, should take note with concern about the appalling health care situation those of us usually have to face.
Many of us are without health insurance, and yet we pound our bodies day after day.
We must carefully examine, with hope, at our soon to be elected new Administrators, for one who puts health care for all small businesses HIGH on thier list of priorities.
Wow, where do I start?
Jon, thanks for the intervention. I was beginning to feel a little out of my depth here. I tried to keep in mind that many of those leaving comments must be young people who were just not aware of what most of us consider just courtesy: i.e., no anonymous posts.
Mrs. Bubb, thank you for your generous, insightful additions to the story of Ms Lynn. I am more and more in awe of her everyday. She truly must be a very astonishing woman.
Also, I, too, long for the time when this country joins the rest of the world in realizing that basic health care is certainly a human right.
Hi! I only put my first name and last initial (Lauren R.) because I’m only 12 years old and my mom won’t let me put my last name. :)
OK, Lauren, your mother is absolutely right. You stick with only the Lauren R. Thank you, though, for at least giving us the “Lauren R.”
As you can tell, we sometimes use writing/blogging names. There is nothing wrong with using a shortened version, it is just that those of us that do this blogging thing a lot, have learned to mistrust “anonymous.” Too often someone will hide behind it to say hurtful or ugly things.
Thank you, again, for offering your good thoughts about Ms Lynn. And for sharing your name and initial.
Hi, my name is Stacie Freda and I am the Owner and Artistic Director of Lights, Camera, Dancin’ and I recently hired Lynn to do my entire Ballet program! As if her list of credentials wasn’t impressive enough, then I come across this story! How touching…I’m not going to lie, I cried! What an inspiration to all dance teachers and dancers!
Stacie, what wonderful news. Now, Ms Lynn can keep on sharing dance with others.
I am sure her many students and friends are happy to hear this.
Yay for Ms. Lynn!
Oh, I think anyone who has followed this as it unfolded, would totally agree! ! ! !
Hi! I am one of Miss Lynn’s long time students, and I would like to say how nice this article was. She is an amazingly strong woman, and she has helped me to deal with many of my personal problems. She is an incredible teacher, who really has a passion for dance, that she wishes to share with children. I know that it was hard for her to give up her studio, but she knew it was what she had to do. That is her selflessness and integrity showing through. I can honestly say that knowing Miss Lynn for 9 years has truly made me a better person and a dancer. I miss her everyday, because I am so used to seeing her. I hope she will be able to continue to “spread joy through dancing.” I love you, Miss Lynn!
Thank you, Lexie.
I continue to be amazed at the positive out-pouring from Ms Lynn’s many students. As I have said before, she must be an extraordinary person.
If anyone is making sure she sees all this, she must be overwhelmed, pleased and encouraged. If someone is not making sure she sees all this, “someone” should.
We should all strive to be more like Ms Lynn.
It’s okay. I think my dad sent this to her.
Thank you, Lexie.
I am pleased to know your Dad let Ms Lynn know how loved she is.
Well she is an amazing person with a great passion for what she does. I am a Mom of a dancer that has gone there for about 7 years. We love you Miss Lynn