No, this is not a blog about why you should GO to Stepping Out Performing Arts Center. It is a blog about why it is NAMED Stepping Out Performing Arts Center. A few days ago I hung three posters in my studio. Two were movie posters and one was a show poster. From what movie and show you ask? WELL, the movie and show is Stepping Out. Most people who have come in this week have looked at the walls and said "Oh so that is where the name came from, I didn't know it was a movie". So yes, this is where the name came from, but the explanation is not that simple. Stepping Out is a 1991 movie starring Liza Minnelli and was also a 1984 play done in London as well as on Broadway. I have loved this dance movie since the first time I saw it and for those of you who know me, you are probably not a bit surprised. Any dance movie, good or bad, especially from 80's early 90's became a staple in my life. Among those are "Fast Forward", "A Chorus Line" and "Girls Just Want To Have Fun". So in reality it is no shock that I would love this movie. But I never knew how much of an effect and influence it would have on my life.
Stepping Out is a musical-comedy where Minnelli plays the role of a has-been Broadway performer who gives tap lessons to a group of people who might not have met otherwise who, through their dance classes, bond and realize what they can achieve. They become not only friends, but family. The main character finds her family and her dream all at the same time. Liza Minnelli's character relives the limited glories of her former career as a chorus girl by teaching this dance class in a church hall. During the movie, she goes from feeling like she failed and never achieved her dreams to a person who realized she didn't know what her dream was until the opportunity presented itself. Some of you may know that I gave up dancing and became a wife and mother but eventually got back into it as a student and then started back teaching as an adult tap teacher also. My experience is very similar to the main character's and I am so thankful to have taken this road and found the friends and family I now have and had the opportunity to realize my dream I never anticipated coming true.
If you read my last blog about why I opened my dance studio at this stage in my life, you know that this is very close to what happened to me. I was living my dream, I had a wonderful marriage, amazing kids, a great home, and friends and family around. I was not missing anything. It was what made me happy. But I have now learned that when an opportunity presents itself sometimes you have to take the leap and go with your gut. The signs are everywhere and you have to pay attention to them. Just like in the movie, when you have people around you who see in you what you might not have seen in yourself, you have to see yourself through their eyes. If they have faith in you, you should have faith in yourself. You may take the long way there, you may second guess, and you may stumble, but just keep moving forward.
The day I had to come up with the name of my studio to fill out legal paperwork I just knew this was it. Not only because of the movie but also because of "Stepping Out" as a concept. No matter what age or what stage you are in life. Step out of your comfort zone, step out of your mold, step into your dream. The tag line from the movie is "Your dreams are just a step away". Take that step, you will never regret going for it.
I am so honored to walk into my studio and see Liza Minnelli's picture on my wall and honor her great talent as well as that great message. She is the ultimate triple threat, an amazing performer, and an amazing woman who trained hard, worked hard and kept going no matter what. So when you ask me "Why Stepping Out?", it makes me smile because it is always a reminder and makes me reflect in the message of this movie.