Feb 11, 2020
This week on 5.6.7.EIGHT, Aleksandra speaks with Diane Rawlinson — a dance educator, nonprofit founder, director, yoga teacher, published author, consultant, and Interplay Leader — whose influential role in the lives of students has earned her top recognition across multiple states. Rawlinson has been investing in the lives of Wheeling High School students for going on three decades, and her investment in the arts has garnered her a slew of awards, including a Ruth Page Award. Additionally, Diane is also a published writer, having written over 100 articles for Dance Spirit and Dance Teacher Magazine, and is the founder of Dance for Life’s Next Generation, which encourages young dancers to give back to the community in a myriad of ways.
To Diane, what happens off of the stage supersedes what happens on the stage, and Diane’s desire is to invest in her students’ lives at a personal level, beyond teaching them the right dance technique or choreography. Rawlinson’s love for her students and for people, in general, is the foundation for so much of what she does as a teacher, nonprofit founder, and her other roles in furthering people and the arts. On the podcast, Diane discusses her love of dance, what it’s like working in the same place for thirty years, how and why Dance for Life Next Generation was founded, and so much more.
“While I loved working with dance companies, for me, it was always about making dance accessible to all."
“As a dancer, you have to be coachable. You have to get off of your ego."
“As much as I loved getting on stage and performing, for me, showing people they were capable of doing it too was a bigger thrill."
“If a mentor is taking time to mentor you, then being willing to accept their criticism and apply it will make a world of difference."
“It’s great to get students on stage and hear them say, ‘I can be a part of the dance community as a performer.’ But to see how else the students can be a part of the community in the bigger picture — while giving back to the community — that’s also very valuable."
[On working in the same place for 30 years] “While you’re walking into the same building every day, every day is never the same."
Bullet Points (w/ timestamps) - Highlighting key topics discussed:
3:48: Diane explains how she initially fell in love with dance and ended up where she is now — spending 3 decades teaching high schoolers how to love the beautiful art.
11:22: Diane discusses some of her “firsts” as a dancer, including her first recital and the first time she realized she didn’t want to be a touring performer.
14:47: Rawlinson shares her experiences walking into the same workplace for going on three decades and how, in reality, no two days are ever the same.
20:27: Diane discusses how Dance For Life’s Next Generation was founded and the pride she feels, seeing her students better the community.
29:20: Rawlinson gives some advice for young, aspiring individuals looking for a career in the dance field and discusses the importance of coachability.
36:17: With retirement on the horizon, Diane shares what she would like her post-retirement “next move” to be.
Bullet List of Resources –