Sitting on my desk is a quote that I heard on a talk show a few weeks back: “Many people are bound and held in the self creation of their own limitation.” I have been reflecting on this and comparing what I choose to do with what I am capable of doing.
On Tuesday I taught my first webinar for ARPA and ACE Communities. This was a challenge to present my dance material with no visual background and only dialogue and printed instructions. I had never prepared a power point before, and I had never worked on so many computer details at one time. Monday morning my barometer of a back was giving me the stress signals. This is usually indicated by lower back pain and then everything seizes up. Tuesday morning was a headache. Why was I doing this to myself? Perhaps I should just stick to what I do best – leading dance classes with people who can see me and follow!
Giving in to my fear would not suit my character. In fact, not rising to a challenge has not even been in my vocabulary for many years. Perhaps it was time to consider “pulling back the reins” and choosing an easier course. But, what about the excitement of thinking in a different way? How about making my material easy to understand and reproducable by non dancers? If I did not rise to this challenge, others would not be able to benefit from all the studying I have been doing and all the experience I have gained over my career. No, technology and fear would not be a consideration.
So, I prepared a piece that had audience participation, (I did not want anyone to sit through a movement presentation); I had questionnaires to be thought provoking, (I wanted to engage the people who need to respond and be involved in the process of learning); and I had a joke and photos to entice the visual learners, (I wanted people to be interested in the material on the screen). It was a little weird to not see everyone’s eyes, as I love to make eye contact with all of my students. It was also difficult to know if everyone was following, as participants were not sure if they should vocalize a response or not. But, I carried through answering written questions and responding to some of the dialogue.
When I finished I was so relieved! But, I was also elated. I had completed this incredible learning challenge, and I felt like I was able to get my ideas across and have them well received. Being a presenter of a webinar would open new ideas and opportunities for me and the material that I present. And, for those people living in a rural area where they could not access workshops or opportunities for my material, this was a new way to become connected to the world. Thank goodness I rose to the challenge.
I was also excited for the different attendees. I had people from across Canada as well as New York and their areas of interest were very different. This showed me the incredible potential that the webinar had for all kinds of people, and not just the participants attending a conference on a specific topic. Also, I could reach people across the world with this technology. Who would believe?!