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Saturday, March 27, 2010

To Register or Not To Register: That is the Question

How many times in your life have you intended to do something and it just never happened? I'm one of those people who wants to do everything--I have a dreaded fear of missing out! When I was in college I could never be the first one to leave any party, even if the "party" was just hanging out in the hallway, because I was always sure the minute I left something incredible would happen.

And so it goes with dance. Workshops, classes, dances, there's so much happening near and far and I wish I could do it all!! But we can't. These days the decision making is a lot easier since it invariably boils down to one question: are we available? And since Chester and I are normally booked months in advance, available time is usually at a premium.

Every time I find out about an event, class or workshop I really want to attend, I mark the dates in my calendar and hope that nothing bumps it out of the way. Since we make our living teaching dance, the most common bumper for us is a paying gig. You would think we could schedule our classes around things we want to do, but it isn't that easy when we teach consecutive weeks. It took us years to find the available time to go to the Balboa Rendezvous in California, even though it was on my most-want-to-do list forever. (This year it falls on our Second Saturday Swing Dance date -- April 10!).

So step number one is to find the date available on my calendar.

Step number 2 is to register.

If I have the room on my calendar and I know I want to do something, I register for it. This makes the commitment real for me so that I know anything else that comes up will have to work around that commitment.

It also helps the organizer.

Registrations are crucial to helping to make a successful event. They tell you who to expect so that you can create a class or workshop suited to those people. For us, when we know who are taking our classes, we can take into consideration their skill level when developing the curriculum and draw students from other classes if we have a leader/follower imbalance.

And sometimes it means the difference between a class being held or cancelled. When outside agencies sponsor us to teach, they need to know that they will get sufficient enrollment through their registration process. The Ballroom series we teach at SUNY Ulster is always packed, but one year they wanted to cancel because they only had six students the week before the first class. I convinced them to hold the class open and sure enough six more registered the day of the first class.

When I was involved with Landmark Education we used to say that there was no such thing as trying. You either commit to something or you don't. And once you commit to something, the world will open up to assist you.

So when you see a class, event, or workshop you want to take--register for it. You'll be amazed how that commitment will enhance the experience.

Classes begin week of April 5
SUNY Ulster Ballroom Series begins April 9
Technique clinic Intermediate Concepts April 10
Balboa April 11 and 25
Laura Jeffers & the Big Apple Lindy Hoppers Workshop Weekend April 17 & 18