Now before you go and think I have a huge 'ole ego from the title of this post...lemme 'splain myself.
I once had a dance teacher.
This teacher has been on my mind A LOT recently.
This teacher is the most fabulous woman.
She taught me not only about dance, but how to live life, how to love, how to have passion, how to treat people and how to have no inhibitions.
Her name is Holly Brown. She is not only my teacher, but she is my friend.
I first met her at age 15 when she started teaching hip hop at the dance school.
I was a little shy at first, but after a few classes with her, she helped me come in to my own and hip hop soon became my favorite genre of dance! It was favorite part of the week. Not only because the dancing was awesome, but also because Holly made me feel so good about myself.
At the end of EVERY class we had to throw our hands up in the air and yell, "I AM..." then drop our hands dramatically over our faces while yelling, "Fabulous!"
So my Junior and Senior years were spent on the hip hop team with Holly.
She, and her whole family really, made me a part of their own family.
Her husband, Ross, totally believed in my talent and her little kids became like my own siblings.
It was totally normal for me to be at their house just because.
I could be so super silly with them, but also feel true love.
Holly birthed this beautiful family!
They were even younger than this when I first met them and now they're all growing up and I can't even believe it!
But we're bonded for more than just one reason...
Holly is also my mermaid sister...:)
The summer after I graduated high school, Holly asked me if I would help her out with a summer show. It would be performed every week at an outdoor venue for all of the tourists breezing by. I said yes. And boy am I glad I did! This show ended up being the talk of the island! We started out with smaller crowds, but by the end of that first summer...we had a large following! Then we ended up doing the mermaid show for multiple summers and we soon became a family favorite on people's vacations. We were even a picture on this one family's Christmas card! It really was some of the most fun times of my life. Holly was Bubbles, I was Pearl, and amidst some other mermaids we sang songs, did dances, played games with the tourists, and just entertained while having such a great time!
Here are a few of my favorite photos from over the years:
Lately, I've admired Holly even more.
Her youngest daughter, Jasmyn, has had some really serious health problems.
But through it all, Holly has stayed strong for her family and showed us all what she is made of.
I so admire her zest for life, her unconditional love, and the ability to turn a sour situation into a sweeter one.
Out of all the things I HAD to have at my wedding...having Ross and Holly DJ and run the reception was at the very top. I could NOT give that up. And in true Brown fashion, they showed up and threw an unforgettable party!
It was so special to have them there sharing in the most important time of my life.
Being thousands of miles apart is hard, but I still feel so loved by Holly.
She is so great at staying in contact and I am forever grateful to have her in my life.
I am a dance teacher now because of her.
And every class I just always try to think to myself, "What would Holly do?"
I know if I think that...I'll never go wrong.
I love you, Holly!
Thank you for everything!