Last night was one of my most favourite nights of the year.
Every year, on the eve of International Women’s Day, Dandelion Dance™ hosts a special event highlighting the voices, views and creations of girls and young women from a diverse cross-section of Ottawa’s community. And every year, I have an opportunity to share with the audience why my career pivot (which still confounds many, I know!) has largely focused on stewarding the sustainable expansion of this groundbreaking leadership program for girls.
For many of you, it is no surprise that I am an advocate for girls’ and women’s rights, and a proud feminist. It is also not a surprise to many that I thrive in leadership roles when I am driven by the opportunity to create real, meaningful change in the world. And still others of you have always known that I have a love for big picture thinking about systems change, strategic planning, and facilitating meaningful conversations.
And yet – many people are stumped by my decision to co-lead Dandelion Dance™, alongside the organization’s ingenious founder, Hannah Beach. In fact, a friend once called me and asked, truly confused: “So …. you’re teaching dance classes now?”
I had to laugh. No, not at all. My role at Dandelion is very much focused on the organization’s growth and financial sustainability. But it is time for me to address that question that lingers in many people’s minds: “Why dance? What does that have to do with leadership?” There are actually many ways that I could answer this question, all rooted in my own personal experience and personal stories. And here is the story that I chose to share last night:
Thank you for allowing me to share this story with all of you. And thank you again for being here tonight. We are all so grateful to every one of you.