I think about Dame Gillian Lynne every day. The story of the six year old girl whose mother took her to a doctor worried that she had a learning disorder. The diagnosis? She was just born to dance and couldn’t keep still. Dame Gillian Lynne went on to become one of the most famous choreographers of all time, entertaining millions of people. Truly inspiring and haunting in equal measure.
Inspiring because I often think about how lucky Gillian Lynne was that her mother was willing to embrace her daughter’s passion and talent and support it fully. Haunting because I often wonder how many Gillian Lynnes have never been given the chance to follow their dream and make the most of their god given talent.
The American philosopher, Henry Thoreau, said that ‘most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with their song still in them’. I believe that the job of everyone involved in educating and supporting young children around the world is to help young people find the song within them. Young people’s passions and talents need to be nurtured, supported and celebrated. It really isn’t up to us to decide what those passions and talents are. It’s our job to support them.
I’m very lucky because we spend our days trying to find ways of supporting children with the things they love and that they are good at. It’s one of the best jobs on the planet because every day is different. Children are amazingly and brilliantly unique and never a day goes by when I don’t see or hear examples of incredible children trying to do extraordinary things. But, they can’t do these things without the support of everyone around them.
We have to teach young children to dream big and to develop the confidence and resilience to follow their passions. If you love what you do, the rest really will take care of itself as Dame Gillian’s story proves. My company exists because that is our purpose. To help support millions of children in taking what they love and building the support and the skills to help them fly. What a day job I’ve got.
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