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Christmas time, New Year’s and the winter solstice are a time for reflection. The solstice itself means ‘sun stands still’. It’s the time when the daylight is shortest, the darkness dominates and we wait for more light that is to come as we enter winter. We slow down, take time for friends and family, think about the year that was and what’s to come and that reflection brings with it gratitude. So this post is about everything I’m grateful for in 2018.

Opportunity. This year I was given the opportunity to do things I’d been only dreaming of the past few years. After a lot of hard work these opportunities were made available to me. I was given the green light to begin teaching salsa, both in private lessons and in groups. Not only did I teach for my own school, Dance Vancouver, but I was given the opportunity to teach club lessons and bootcamps for D2 Dance Studios, which houses our collective community. I was given the opportunity to take the Anatomy in Motion course in California. This was made possible by my partner (thanks to his Christmas bonus) and my parents (thanks to their travel rewards points). Taking the course and applying the course material are two very different things. I was given the space in my life to learn and practice the course content in order to start my business this fall as a movement practitioner.

Health and wellness. I am fortunate to be well enough to do what I do every day. Part of this is genetics, part is circumstance and part is where I was born. It is not lost on me that my opportunity to do what I do comes from the fact that I am healthy and fortunate enough to be able to spend my time learning the skills I need to succeed and I live in a part of the world where all of that is possible.

Community. I am grateful for the salsa community and the AiM community for providing the warm welcome and unending sources of inspiration, motivation and amusing diversion that allow me to do what I do. In particular the Danceys and my coach Patrick Moriarity for providing a safe space for all dancers of all backgrounds and abilities to have a space where they are welcome, safe and supported. Also, Gary Ward and Chris Sritharan along with all the AiMers I have met along the way with my AiM journey for modelling stellar communication, teaching and listening skills plus inspiring me with their unending skill sets, intelligence and common purpose to help others find out how to move better. You have made a tremendous impact on me and I can’t thank you enough.

Business coaches. I have both Shelley Ugyan and Shawn Kitzman to thank for getting me where I am with my business. Without their guidance I would not have a business at all. They have pushed me, encouraged me and given me tools I didn’t even know existed that have my business up and running and allowing me to begin being a thought leader in my community. To them I am forever grateful.

All the guinea pigs. To all those who I have practiced my skills on, I thank you. In particular my long standing patients David Wu, Curtis Friesen and BJ Clayden. Without monkeying around with your bodies I wouldn’t have honed my skills to where they are today. And to all those who I have asked to do an assessment on to hone my skills, thanks for being willing!

As for everyone reading this, I hope your holiday season brings an opportunity to sit in reflection and think of how far you’ve come and where you’re headed in 2019.