Yes! We’re Open: Hawkins School of Performing Arts

Yes! We’re Open: Hawkins School of Performing Arts

♪♪ Deirdre Hawkins: I remember
when I was about seven seeing the Wizard of
Oz on television and there was a step that
they did, uh, going down the
yellow brick road. I remember just being
determined to learn that step. I am Deirdre Hawkins, owner
and director of the Hawkins School of
Performing Arts in Folsom, California. ♪ (Piano) ♪ Deirdre: I’ve
always loved dance. Deirdre: And
arms, a one, a two, and three, elevae,
and a one. Deirdre: I began taking
dance when I was seven years old and by the time
I was 17 years old, I went to San
Francisco Ballet School. ♪♪ Deirdre: I love to teach,
and I love to choreograph, so my finding myself in this
place at this time in my life, it just really means
to me that it was meant to happen. When I was
graduating from high school, I thought, “Here I go, I’m
finally going to be able to devote every day and
every hour to ballet.” I took the direction of
becoming a dance major in college and I concluded
those studies with a master’s degree
in education. When I finally
graduated in 1980, I met my son’s father and
married and that didn’t work out. I was in a crossroads in
my life at that point. Being a single mother, I
decided to move to Folsom, which was close to
where my parents lived. When I went for
the job interview, I had a feeling I was
going to get the job. I knew that if I were to
accept this job that that would be it and I would
never pursue my dream of having a dance studio. I was waiting for the call. The phone rang. I was offered the job. All this energy was being
built up inside me that this is a moment of truth. I burst out into
tears and I said, “I’m sorry, I just can’t
accept this job because I want to open a
dance studio.” There was this
Montessori school that was going out and it was
going to be up for rent. When I looked in the window,
I had a flash back of my very first ballet school so
I thought this was a sign and I rented it. I really had no idea
what I was in store for. The first five years were
an incredible struggle, but I just kept
loving what I was doing. I just think I’m just
doggedly determined to work through the problems that
I’m faced with every day. Deirdre: Is there a room
availability Thursday night at eight? Deirdre: The biggest
hurdle I had to overcome being a business owner
was the business itself. I had absolutely no
experience in business. It was only in the arts. That’s been the hardest
thing to learn and to wear the different hats. Deirdre: Hi Monica,
how are things going? Monica: Good. You have a
couple of messages. Deirdre: Okay. What I believe keeps
me going day after day and year after year is the
sense that I am doing what I was meant to do
with my life. The most important thing to
me about the studio is my relationship
with my students. I’ve seen them grow from
three years old all the way through high school and to
see them grow each year and make dance a part of their
life is so fulfilling to me. When a student
walks in the door, I don’t think of them as
just taking class here, I think of them as
investing in a journey. Instructor: Four, five,
six, seven, eight. Deirdre: Dance training
does instill in the growing child a sense
of physicality, of the boundaries,
what their body can do, how strong it can be,
how athletic it can be. Instructor: And three,
a four, and five, six. Deirdre: That is so
gratifying to me to see that, that dance can do
that much for an individual. What is so
wonderful about teaching, is that you plant a seed in
a child for their love of dance, and I see them grow
year after year and become more skilled and loving it,
then I know that it’s all worth it. ♪♪ Deirdre: So I started out
with one, one student. And now when I look out from
the control room on some of the performances and there’s
75 dancers on stage and a full auditorium, I am taken
back at what the path that I’ve been on since that one
day in 1987 when that little girl appeared at the door. ♪♪ Deirdre: What’s most
gratifying about owning this business is that I feel
I’m fulfilling my destiny. All the business and
all of the difficulties, it’s worth every minute
of it for these moments. Deirdre: Six
and seven, good.

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