“Confidence comes from hours and days and weeks and years of constant work and dedication.” Robert Staubach

Sometimes you need to just give yourself a break and take a step back before you get back on the path you’re meant for. 

I can’t imagine a TDS where there are no huddles, no high fives, no ‘woohoos’. I love what I do but the school didn’t start like that.

We didn’t have the ‘woohoos’ and high fives and the huddles. You would come in, learn the moves, laugh some and go home. 

When I first took over eight years ago, I started to bring in something different and people didn’t enjoy the experience. 

My woohoos were forced, my stories ran for 20 minutes of a 1 hour Salsa class (often the stories did not make sense, had no heart). 

Look I was bad…BAD…trying to bring something that’s never been seen in the dance industry. 

I mean I get it, what they all felt. It was awkward, the school was around way before me, here I come in, this guy who’s like:

“We’re gonna hug,. We’re gonna high five. We’re gonna share our feelings and tell stories”

Students began to complain, started to ask for refunds, instructors were complaining that it was weird what I am doing. When people started to call my huddles and what I want to do a Cult…that one still hurts. 

All those little comments (didn’t feel little then) chipped away at my confidence. Little by little.

You know when you keep trying to win at something but all you see are just fails and you’re seeing your own mess ups and…it just gets to you.

Then one day I get an email from a student, another complaint but this one just made me want to quit. 

“I didn’t come here to listen, to a B-Rated Tony Robbins. I wasted my time and money and I will tell everyone to stay away from your school. I don’t want a refund, keep the money because your school will need it.” 

It just crushed me. I ran to the school owner with tears in my eyes and told him I quit. 

I’m done. I’m done. I’m tired. I’m tired of trying to push against this giant wall. Where nobody wants me at the school. I’m gonna go back to sales. 

To his massive credit he just gave me two options:

  1. Don’t give up. Even if we become a school of one student, I’ll support you. You’re gonna bring this school back up. You’re just not good at what you’re doing right now, and you’re bringing something that’s never been part of this industry. 

I interrupted and said “What’s the option to…I can’t do option 1.

      2. Stop doing huddles and go be a fun loud instructor for one semester. 

That’s what I did. For 9 weeks I just became my magical, unicorn loud Aleks self and people loved it! People started to love me again and I started to rebuild my confidence.

At the end of the semester I sat down with him he slides me a stack of positive reviews, all saying how amazing Aleks (the new fun Aleks) next it that stack he slides the single email with the B-Rated Tony Robbins comment.

He just says, “Now, pick your path.” 

“I’m scared”

“That’s not a good enough reason.” He replied

So I picked the hard path. I picked the painful path and I’m proud to say, past all that pain is TDS as you know it now. 

TDS is the type of dance school the world needs…but…this isn’t the story you think it is. 

This isn’t a story of: “ Just keep believing yourself. You can push through anything.” 

I wanted to quit…in fact, I almost did (several times later over the years too). 

This is a story that sometimes you just need to take a step back and rebuild your confidence. 

Maybe you just got out of a bad relationship, maybe you just not happy at work, whatever it is.

It’s hard to find the strength to do the difficult things when you don’t feel like you’re winning anywhere and that’s what he taught me into my second option. 

He just said, go have some wins. Go be a loud fun instructor. That’s what I want to tell you. 

Maybe now is the time just to build your confidence back up before you get back on the hard path.

The right path. Your path. I love you guys.

I can’t wait to welcome you to our big family, have you coming in a week to week, having fun, connecting with new friends and letting lose to amazing Latin songs. Click here to check our current schedule.

If you have any questions you would like me to answer here are some ways you can contact me: message me on Instagram (torontodanceSalsa), on Twitter (#torontodanceSalsa), on Facebook (Toronto Dance Salsa) or email me at [email protected].