Pam Boehme Simon
“I have danced my whole life. It is who I am. It is what I have given to two generations of dancers, and, what I hoped to do for many years to come. However, fate had other plans…”
I teach at a dance studio that has been around since 1933. I danced here as a little girl, and in 1986, after graduating college with a dance degree, I returned. I have been here ever since, with no plans to go anywhere else for a long time.
However… I have been forced to completely rethink that. This past summer, at an unusually young age for such a thing, I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease (the shaky one). It’s a neurological, degenerative, movement disease. I’m not gonna be dancing for very much longer.
I will slowly lose control of different body parts, my muscles will stiffen up, and my sense of balance will cease to exist. Needless to say, I’ve probably tied my last pair of pointe shoe ribbons…
I mourned the “death” of my lifelong companion, dance, briefly. Then I wiped away the tears, straightened my tutu, and put on my thinking tiara.
I knew I was going to need to find a new way to work and earn a little bit of income, and this one would have to be stationary.
I pondered for a long time. I told myself, “Okay. I worked my derrière off to get to where I am, and I can do it again to get to the next place.”
I have always been fascinated by computers.
Back in 1994, I bought a big ol’ Macintosh Performa with a whopping 8 MB of RAM. I switched it on, it said “Hello” and we became good friends. I built my studio’s website in 2000 and that was back when it was all html or wysiwyg at best. Not this drag-and-drop stuff we’re spoiled to today. I started shopping on Amazon back when their logo was still a river and all they sold was books!
Soon after my diagnosis, an email caught my eye. An internet marketing/online business promotion sort of thing. Normally I wouldn’t have paid it much attention, but in my new frame of mind, it got me thinking. Hmmm… make money online… sitting at the computer… that… would be PERFECT!
For 30 years I’ve spent the majority of my time with children. I like to think that I have a bit more insight into the workings of a child’s mind than most. I know what makes them happy. I know what makes them fearful. I know how to change a fearful one back into a happy one. I know what makes them excited and enthusiastic and proud of themselves.
That is why I decided to open an online toy shop and start a blog, to collect, provide, and discuss. Beautiful things, silly things, dumb jokes, clever riddles, crazy stories, quirky music, creative projects, pretty puzzles, fun ideas, real excursions and pretend adventures… well, you get the idea. Anything kid-related that may be of interest to moms, dads, grandparents, aunties and uncles… anyone who loves a child.
Then, while spending so much time working online, an unforeseen discovery was made. I found a new way to “dance” and “choreograph.” After my having to create 20 – 35 dances a year for almost 50 years came to a screeching halt, I was getting very “stopped up” creatively. Making ballet videos has proven to be a wonderful release. I pull clips together, change the music around… more or less “choreograph” a dance through video. Having never done it before, I also discovered that I was pretty good at it. It makes me very happy. And, to my extreme surprise, it makes others happy as well. I’ve just recorded 700,000 (Edit: 1 Million as of 5/9/2017… 1.5 million as of 7/1/2017) views on my YouTube channel.(Another Edit: 2.5 million as of 11/2017)
I’ve spent my life helping and teaching children, and this is how I’d like to continue doing that. Granted, my beloved dance will no longer be a part of the plan, but I can still make a positive influence in the lives of my precious little ones and budding dancers.
Well. All that being said, I thank you for visiting and for reading the story of my “why.” If this were a ballet class, we would now curtsy and daintily shake hands. However… it’s not a dance class anymore so “au revoir” will suffice, and a very heartfelt “merci.”