Royal Dance Works

Carole RoyalWhen I graduated from college, my parents gave me a beautiful book of inspirational quotations. From time to time over the years, I have referred to the book -- when I was teaching high school English, when I helped my own children with a term paper, and now as I write this message. Being that the book is quite old, I wondered what might still apply. One quotation in particular, written by Henri Amiel, stood out - "It is not what he has, nor even what he does, which directly expresses the worth of a man, but what he is."

As I look at the meaning behind these lines, I know that "what one has" is certainly prominent in today's society. Being surrounded by beautiful "things" is something many of us strive for. Kept in perspective, this is not a bad thing.

"What one does" probably takes on even more emphasis. Our identities are often determined by what we do for a living. As teachers, we hope our job is very important in shaping young lives. Certainly we look to firefighters, healthcare providers, and our military as examples of how important one's job is to society.

But "what one is" to me says it all. I feel so fortunate to be surrounded by examples of this every day. I see students tending to others that might have had a bad day. I watch as teachers put in time over and above the call of duty so that students can excel. Becky works at the front desk, tirelessly dealing with everyone's daily problems and keeping the studio on the right track. This is going on the 32nd year that I have worked with Lupe. To know that her strong ethical approach is always there to guide me, gets me through many a tough time. I am so thankful to be able to call my job a "home".

As our dancers study, perform, and compete, we take pride in their accomplishments. We're excited to see them shine on stage and receive the thunderous applause of family and friends. Some of our past 8 year-old dancers are now teachers at the studio. What does the future hold for all those dancing with us? Hopefully, the future will bring them their share of "things", leading to a comfortable life. We can wish that they achieve in their desired profession and reap the rewards. But most importantly, treating others nicely and with respect, handling problems with understanding and compromise, being self-assured and yet humble -- these are the ideals we hope to pass along to our students. "What one is" or becomes is more important than any "steps" they might learn. Thank you for allowing us a tiny bit of influence over your children's lives. We take the responsibility very seriously.

To my family -- I am so proud of all of your success -- what you've "become" would make any mother proud.

-- Carole Royal

Carole Royal, Director of Royal Dance Works, has over 33 years of teaching experience in both the public school systems and private sector. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Secondary Education (Performing Arts), as well as danced and ice-skated professionally touring Canada and the US, and then opened Royal Dance Works in 1979. Carole has been responsible for training national championship dancers, Star Search winners, and professional performers who've appeared in the U.S., Japan, France, Australia, and Caribbean. In addition, as director of Dance International, a foreign dance exchange program, she's taken dancers to study in Australia, London, Paris, and Italy.