Please, Feel Sorry For Yourself.

In a very “off brand” move, I am encouraging you to spend the next several moments wallowing in self pity. 

Yes. You read that correctly. 

WALLOW. INDULGE. BASK. RELISH. Whatever. 

Choose your favorite activity and GO.  You deserve a few moments to decompress. 

2020 has been a dumpster fire. 

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I like to believe I am ultimately a pretty positive person. A glass half full, “live your best life toting” kind of gal. 

That said, this idea that “you need to be happy all of the time” blasted all over the internet is a far cry from reality. 

There is something unsettling about “life coaches” and “celebrity influencers” who are constantly sharing a message of sunshine, lollipops, and rainbows. Though I believe that the intent of their message is to inspire and uplift and is likely rooted in kindness, in our current climate the message can begin to feel out of touch. 

But what about giving people hope? Isn’t that what they need? 

But if people don’t allow themselves to feel from time to time, won’t they self implode? 

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I have found myself conflicted with these questions every day through my own brand message. As I mentioned earlier, I tend to see the good before the bad. My entire motivation in life is to help people choreograph the best version of themselves. My goal is to provide hope for YOUR goals, however lofty they may be. 

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But I have felt like a fraud in my efforts to play the role of a business owner who isn’t exhausted, stressed, sad, and fed up. 

Because, trust me, I am all of the above.

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The challenges we have been presented in the last several months are ones we could have never mentally, physically, or emotionally been equipped to tackle, no matter the given notice. And while no circumstance is created equal, I think we can all agree, without going into the gory details, that the majority of recent events being shared in the news are all pretty much the worst.

Are you exhausted?  

Are you stressed? 

Are you sad? 

Are you just totally and overwhelmingly fed up? 

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Good news: You are allowed to be. 

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Please do not get it twisted: 

I do not believe I am the “granter of permission” to do anything. 

You are in charge of you. 

You are your own “granter” of actions. 

I am simply encouraging YOU to grant YOU the permission to not have to be strong all the time. 

If you are exhausted- give yourself permission to take something off of your plate. 

If you are stressed- give yourself permission to unwind. 

If you are sad- give yourself permission to cry. 

If you are just totally and overwhelmingly fed up- give yourself PERMISSION TO FEEL ALL OF IT. 

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After all, 2020 is a dumpster fire.

There is no magic formula or method to allowing yourself to feel. 

But we have to allow ourselves to do it. 

At the beginning of the quarantine, I was the captain of “Team Positive.” I allowed myself to feel only hopeful and only happy. 

Thousands of dollars out the window due to cancelled contracts?: It’s fine! 

Not seeing friends or family for weeks on end?: Zoom is cool! 

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Then one day, I melted down. 

I spent the whole day in tears and couldn’t get out of bed. 

What was happening to me? 

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Say what you want about 2020, one thing is certain: 

In the midst of all of the chaos, in MANY instances it has presented the “clear 20/20 vision” the name so hopefully promised. Certainly not the glorious success and clarity we had all “clinked to” at midnight, but clear vision never the less. 

One thing that has become personally very clear is I need to grant myself permission to feel sorry for myself when things don’t work out. When the plan is derailed, disappointment is to be expected and should be embraced. 

And while you can’t put a timeline on grief and disappointment, I have found that the more opportunities you grant yourself to feel, the more opportunities you have to uncover how to best work through the less appealing times. 

The comeback is alway greater than the setback ASSUMING you know how to comeback. 

And just like anything else, you won’t learn how to come back until you grant yourself permission to learn. 

So while you’re muddling through the rest of this “unprecedented” dumpster fire of a moment, no matter how much longer it may be, be kind to yourself. At the end of the day, when all of the embers have settled, you will ALWAYS have you in your corner. 

10’s Across the Board

For most people, the middle of August comes in HOT… and I’m not necessarily talking about temperatures. The lazy days of summer come to a seemingly screeching halt and are replaced by bustling school schedules, extracurricular activities, and new professional initiatives. While this can all be very exciting, let’s not pretend like any one of us is above potentially feeling just a bit overwhelmed. And if by saying “a bit overwhelmed”, I actually meant “potentially on the brink of suffocation”, I bet I would be a little closer to a majority consensus. 

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Do not buy into the hype of the “social media superstars.” 

No one has it all together.

The stress is NORMAL.

You’re allowed to feel this way. 

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In a “best case scenario” setting, juggling the “Mid August Mayhem” is nothing short of a magic trick. Couple that with all things Coronavirus and you’ve got yourself a full blown miracle. If you happen to be able to pull off your day without any major meltdowns or catastrophes, likely you feel slightly victorious. 

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STOP AND CLAP FOR YOURSELF! 

YOU SHOULD BE PROUD! 

THIS CALLS FOR A CELEBRATION! 

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A celebration of YOU!

I know you may be thinking, “I don’t have time to be celebrating! I have boxes to check,” and I get it. From one busy person to another, the thrill of momentum is not something you want to interrupt. We all know “objects in motion stay in motion” so stopping for any reason probably seems totally unreasonable. 

Time is money, honey. 

Here is the reality: You need to make time for YOU if you think for even one second you can carry these “Mid August 100 MPH” vibes into the fall. If you don’t, you will implode. Period. 

From a gal who has experienced this “crash and burn” year after year during this crazy season, I ask you to just trust me on this one. 

It isn’t pretty. 

In making time for yourself, it is imperative that you spend 30 minutes a day of doing something that falls into the realm of physical activity. Sure, you may be moving at a mile a minute, but bouncing from “zoom room” to “zoom room” is not the heart rate boost we are talking about here. Your physical activity needs to be focused and, more than likely, strategic. While this may not be the “Celebration of YOU” that you had in mind, it is an integral part of the WHOLE party if you want to successfully make it through these next few weeks. 

Here is the best news! 

You can break these 30 minutes up into 3, 10 minute Mini Parties throughout the day. 

Even better news! 

We are taking the “Work” out of “Workout.” 

It truly is a party! 

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8 Ways to Maximize Minimal Workout Time 

10 Minute Personal “OUTINGS”

  1. 1. Dance Party, YEAH!: Make a playlist on your favorite streaming service of roughly 3-4 songs that make you feel happy and DANCE! Don’t worry about what you look like, just let loose! For added calorie burn: SING! For suggestions, follow our “Max Motivation” playlist on Apple Music or Spotify by searching @thekdscollab. 
  2. 2. Audible Walk: Sign up for a free trial of Audible, download your first book, and take a stroll while listening to a chapter or two. Use our link www.audibletrial.com/choreographyourlife for your FREE 30 Day Trial! Not only will you be accomplishing a workout, but you can also hopefully gain some new mental stimulation or just simply clear your mind. 
  3. 3. Jump Rope for Joy: An inexpensive way to get a boost of adrenaline while channeling your inner nostalgic vibes! Grab a rope, set a timer, and get jumping! A burst of joy guaranteed! 
  4. 4. Disc-O-Date: Grab a friend or co-worker, head outside, and toss the frisbee for a bit! This favorite past time is sure to make you laugh while hopefully jazzing up that heart rate! 
  5. 5. Play Fetch: Simple as that. Disclaimer, this is WAY more fun with a four-legged friend, but can be done solo if you’re feeling creative! 
  6. 6. 10 Minute Sun Salutation: By taking advantage of FREE YouTube Yoga flows or your other favorite subscription service, you can break a sweat, get a stretch, and reset your brain with a simple 10 Minute Sun Salutation on your time! A fabulous YouTube Channel recommendation is “Yoga With Adriene.” Namaste. 
  7. 7. Let’s HIIT It: HIIT Routines can actually be a lot of fun! Much like the on-demand yoga suggestion above, you can stream a quick hit routine FREE on YouTube through a channel such as “CRAVE Fitness” or through a paid subscription like www.onepeleton.com or www.classpass.com. Additionally, you can make a DIY Tabata Routine involving jumping jacks, squats, skipping, etc. Tabata timed music is available through both Apple Music and Spotify! The possibilities are endless! 
  8. 8. Address Those Errands: Ok, ok, I know you’re busy! Multitask, my friend! If your location is conducive to foot traffic and you will remain safe, skip the vehicle for your daily errands. Map out your stops, grab a backpack and water, and get those feet moving! 

Win Back Their Hearts

How to refocus your leadership strategy

Being a leader is hard. 

You give 110% to your team in an effort to help make mutual goals and dreams come to fruition day after day. In return, you likely expect your team to show up and give 110% NO MATTER the circumstance. 

After all, they signed up for this, right? 

They should to be there, right? 

They are working toward the GOALS that THEY want, right? 

Not necessarily. 

What happens when the love of the game or career gets lost in the muck of YOUR OWN competitiveness? What happens when you lose sight of what’s ACTUALLY important and you need to refocus and motivate your teams differently? 

Sounds like you might need to regroup and potentially win back some hearts. 

Most importantly: YOUR OWN

Here are 8 simple concepts to to help you refocus your leadership strategy: 

  1. 1. Recognize what is GREAT!
  2. 2. LEARN your peeps. 
  3. 3. DELEGATE responsibility to team leaders. 
  4. 4. Refocus on the “WHY.”  
  5. 5. Believe HARD in the ultimate goal. 
  6. 6. Be NICE. 
  7. 7. Lead with your own VISION. 
  8. 8. ALWAYS have an “Attitude of Gratitude.” 


Want to learn more? 

Email us at: [email protected] 

The One About Mindset

If you happened to see our Instagram story yesterday, you may have walked away from that viewing experience feeling somewhat confused. 

“What is happening?” commented SEVERAL users.

“What did I just look at?” questioned a few. 

“This is my favorite thing on the internet today!” shared a handful. 

This “seemingly strange” thread gained far more attention and engagement than our typical “Sneak Peek of the Week”. 

But the question remained: “What. On. Earth?” 

So, here is your answer: 

Sometimes, you have to LEAP out of the box and HAVE A LITTLE FUN!

Last week, I had the honor of being a guest speaker via a zoom class for a group of students at Columbia College Chicago. While the focus of our conversation was “content creation”, we spoke at great lengths about entrepreneurship and what goes into starting your own business.

My answer was simply: consistency. 

Consistency in presence. 

Consistency in voice. 

Consistency in growth. 

So while it might seem trivial to you, our Sunday night “Sneak Peek of the Week” Instagram story is a piece of content followers have come to expect. Whether they enjoy it or not, it shows up in their feed.  

If we were to miss sharing a Sunday “Sneak Peek of the Week”, that would be an inconsistency. 

Do we think the “Sneak Peek of the Week” is the content people are on the edge of their seats for every Sunday evening?Nope. 

Do we think some people would notice if it didn’t happen?: Yep. 

Real talk: That piece of content takes roughly 2 hours of my Sunday to execute. Maybe for you, it would take no time at all, but for me, I fixate on the little details knowing FULL WELL the majority of viewers just tap through with “glazed over ‘comfortable’ face.” 

I woke up yesterday, rolled over in bed, and reached for my laptop. 

LET’S KNOCK THIS OUT AND GO TO THE POOL!!! 

Sitting in bed, praying for a stroke of creativity, daylight hours ticked by.  

NOTHING was “creeping up in the ‘ol noggin…” 

“I HATE THIS PROJECT TODAY!” I bellowed from my bed.  

“THIS IS NOT FUN AND I HAVE NOTHING LEFT TO GIVE!” 

Oh, the drama. 

We are about to launch a program focused on mindset.

Part of this on-demand, self-study video series dives into the importance of switching things up if your process feels stagnant and you can no longer find the fun in your day to day responsibilities. 

As I was the one who wrote the program, I decided it was time to really test my own advice. I closed my laptop, threw on some shoes, and hit the trail to clear my mind and start over. 

On my walk, I decided that while it might be strange and even a little off-brand, the “Sneak Peek of the Week” was going to be “brought to you by” my favorite “Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgandy” characters. 

Talk about leaping out of the box. 

Yes, I know that movie is absolutely irrelevant at this moment.   

I also am fully aware of the ridiculousness that IS that movie. 

But, the idea made me laugh and obviously gained some attention. 

And you know what they say: “There is no such thing as bad press.” 

Though this silly piece of content was certainly not the most brilliant thing to hit the internet, it was something that surprisingly resulted in engagement. It also resulted in the creator (me) getting excited about getting to work, which led to productivity in other areas that may have a bigger return on investment. This would have never come to fruition had I not taken the steps necessary to shift my mindset. 

After all, the most important component in achieving any kind of success, big or small, is your Mindset. 

Thankfully, we can control our thoughts and engage our energy. 

Our “8 Minute Mindset” series catalyzes a refreshed outlook on your daily agenda. Our on-demand, self-study video series will assist in boosting innovative thoughts, inspiring a “can do” approach to “all of the things”, and encourage a renewed overall disposition. 

In simple terms: 

Sometimes we all just need a quick moment of positive vibes to help us reset. 

All week this week, we will be going behind the scenes of our new program to show you how we can help introduce you to your NEXT LEVEL SELF and get you EXCITED about your day and adventures ahead! 

“8 Minute Mindset” will be available for purchase on August 1st! 

“Listen Up! 4 Ways to Maximize Your Audible Membership”

I am going to let you in on a little secret: 
I’ve been really bored. 
Yes, that’s right.
Bored. 

Sure, the business owner in me has about 700 million things that I could and SHOULD be doing throughout the course of the week.
Blogs, vlogs, graphics, courses, newsletters, Instagram stories, finishing my book… the list goes on and on. That being said, I know that if I don’t tell “Boss Kelly” to pump the breaks and give the good people of The KDs Collaborative some downtime, the idea of a work/life balance will never exist. 

Over the last few months, the end of the workday goes a little bit like this: 
1. Close the laptop.  
2. Make dinner. 
3. Pace around ISO entertainment. 
4. Become frustrated with the options available. 
5. Open the laptop back up to start working again.  
6. Have a quick “Come to Jesus” about boundaries. 
7. Close the laptop. 
8. “Zone out” on my phone. 

Real talk: There are PLENTY of things available to entertain me at any moment in time while I am not working. From literally every streaming service known to man to gaming systems like Nintendo (the original one!), there are options in this house. Do not feel sorry for anyone around here. 

What this really boils down to is I am not good at sitting still or being in one place too long. Sure, I have broken out of our apartment and have had a few recent adventures, but like the majority of the people I know, this summer has looked very different from every summer I’ve known as an “adult”.
I had grown accustomed to living in airports and switching time zones a few times a week.
I miss the thrill of meeting new people all week long. 
I miss the pressure of pulling off huge productions. 
I miss sharing knowledge and passion with likeminded people. 
So yeah, my brain is bored.
And I bet I’m not alone.  

Enter my friend Audible. 

I am sure you may be thinking, “Why is this girl just now jumping on the train?”
In my defense, this is not a new friend, but rather, a friend with whom I had lost touch.

As of last week, Audible is now an Affiliate Sponsor of our podcast, “Choreograph Your Life”. 
I am sure you probably get how that works, but in case you’ve wondered, Affiliate Partnerships work like this: 
1. A person (me, for example) shares a unique link or code created by the sponsor. 
2. People (you, for example) use said link or code to try new products or services. 
3. The activity is tracked. 
4. The person sharing the code is paid by the sponsor. 

Pretty sweet deal. 

Truly, I have never really considered myself the “Influencer” type. 
It feels foreign for me, but alas, here we are. 
Given the fact that I have been suggesting people use my code, I thought it best I reconnect with my long, lost friend. I hopped on the app, downloaded a few books ranging from career advice to the plight of a pop princess, and pressed play. 

Oh, man… GAME CHANGER! 
It was like someone had taken a match to my brain and I said “so long” to any shred of boredom last week. 
And the best part? 
I can get lost in a book while not having to sit still! 
If you haven’t experienced the extensive library that is Audible, do yourself a free favor and check it out. 
www.audibletrial.com/choreographyourlife
(Yes, we are credited for your free membership… no money has to be spent.) 

Now, don’t think for one second in time that I haven’t considered the fact that I am WAY late to the Audible Party. You could very well be on your 100th download and thinking, “This poor girl has been MISSING OUT!” 
I also realize that you could be very over this Audible party… 
Don’t leave quite yet! 
Let me help you spice it up. 
This next part is for you…

“Four Ways to Make the MOST of your Audible Membership”

1. Start an Audible Club 
Yes, we have all heard of a book club. 
But what about an Audible Club? 
Grab some friends, have one of the members of your club select a book for the month. 
You can choose to listen on your own, or even better, schedule a weekly meeting to listen together either on zoom or socially distanced in the same room with snacks and beverages. 

2. Go On a “Car-Cation” 
Road trips are all the rage these days, but typically there is an ultimate destination. 
What if the journey IS the vacation? 
Grab a co-pilot, map out a course that takes you back to where you started, download a book, and HIT THE ROAD! 
Most audiobooks are several hours long, so pick a part of your state that you’ve been interested in seeing and take a drive while you listen to a story you’ve always wanted to hear. 

3. Broaden Your Horizons 
Here is your challenge:
-Assess your library. 
-Accept the fact that maybe you need to spice it up. 
-Do some research on what people are reading in other genres. 
-Jump on the wagon. 

You may find you actually like something outside your wheelhouse! 
Maybe not! 
The best news? You can exchange audiobooks up to a year through Audible making this experiment a no brainer. 
Challenge accepted! 

4. And They Say “Nothing is FREE!”
Good news- Audible has a free section. 
Yep, a lot of people miss it, but it is there! Right on the home page! 
Save those credits and check out the Audible Originals section and discover new authors free of charge. Your credits accumulate over time, so save them up if you are wanting to download a more expensive, trending title.
Just remember, credits do expire after a while, so don’t forget about them! 

Happy Listening! 
www.audibletrial.com/choreographyourlife

Ready to Re-Create?

The date was March 15th, 2020. 

I was sitting in a restaurant with a few friends discussing whether or not I was going to be boarding a flight to California in the morning. I was to be heading west to choreograph a show at an amusement park, and I was really looking forward to working with a team I’d never had the opportunity to meet. Hour by hour, the threat of Covid-19 was becoming more of a reality, so the thought of boarding a plane to travel across the country was becoming increasingly unsettling. 

On the other hand, the commitment to myself, my new cast, and the production team at the park were heavily outweighing the potential health threat. Truly, in my mind, I was already soaring over the Rocky Mountains. I’d already packed, choreographed the show, purchased a mask and gloves, and was ready to rock. After all, it was just two days and I am in good health…

Plot twist: I would not be taking that trip. 

And, that would be the last time we would be having a debate of any kind in a public forum for quite some time. 

As the world starts to slowly re-open, the one industry will likely continue to “wait in the wings” is one that I have been so fortunate to call my career. Events that draw large crowds such as parades, corporate training events, and dance competitions are on the back burner indefinitely. 

Do I think they will make a comeback?- Yes. 
When they do, will they be the same?- No. 
Am I sad about this?- Not necessarily. What if the future is brighter? 

I have taken a lot of time to reflect on what the future may look like for our industry, and I have two thoughts. Both of those thoughts happen to center around the same word: 

“Re-Create.” 

Re-Create is a funny word.
One of those that has multiple meanings. 
A word that can make people feel anxious and calm all at the same time. 

Re-Create: To create something again. 
Re-Create: To start anew. 

So which one is it? 
I believe in success, it is a little bit of both. 

Before I dive in, we need to first address the real elephant in the room. The part of “re-create” that sends people into a tizzy: 
“The idea of ‘anew’… and/or: ‘Change’. 

With the industry in a bit of a holding pattern, there are many of us who have had to look at the next few months and assess how we can shift the journey. The playbook is out the window, but we can’t wait in the queue forever. We have to change the course and ultimately “re-create” the plan.

Which means we have to embrace a bit of change. 
Which means change could set us free from the holding pattern. 

The notion of being “freed by change” is a concept most people, myself at the front of the line, typically find unsettling. As we should. I mean, come on, I don’t even like not knowing how movies are going to end, let alone the thought of my reality as I know it becoming something it is no longer. 

Change means something is going to be different from what we have grown accustomed to, opening the door to variables that are likely momentarily out of our control. That can be scary stuff. But, as suggested, after the dust settles, change is the only way we evolve and, in some cases, become free of what is no longer serving us. 

So how do we embrace or, at the very least, combat the fear of change? 

  1. Catch Feelings: Real talk. You have to accept that with change there will be feelings. A whole slew of them: excitement, sadness, energy, anger… You name it; it’s probably in there. Warn yourself ahead of time that “feeling” is going to happen and that, my friends, is ok. 
  2. Prepare for the Growth Spurt: Remember the days when you would stand against the doorframe in your house and someone would make a little pencil mark above your head?That pencil marks signified change: an acknowledgment of your natural journey. At some point, those pencil marks stopped moving up the door frame because you stopped growing. Unfortunately, with your height, this is just life. I tried for years to pick up a few more inches, but my growth potential was already set. Your mind, however, has unlimited growth potential. In order to grow, there must be change… even simple adjustments can open doors to new thoughts and experiences. Prepare yourself for the growth journey and, like the pencil marks, chart the adventure. 
  3. Take Control: In re-creating your path, accept that you are in control of all changes. This is a luxury. Part of why change is scary is because we don’t see change as in our control. We can take back power by knowing when the plan has become stagnant and then initiate change in our lives. You are in control of you. Read that again.
  4. You Can Always Change: While there is a bit of dissolution with the statement “nothing is permanent”, the sentiment is nice and low-key applies in this instance. The good news about change is that if the changes you make don’t serve you, you can always change the path. Exhale. 

If you believe you are ready to “re-create” your journey, you have accepted you are ready to welcome change. Let change assist in navigating your new chapter. Evolve, grow, learn, and maybe even be freed.
You may find exactly what you are looking for on the other side of your fear. 

But, all of that being said, do not run blindly into the sunset just yet.

Remember, the word “re-create” is tricky. 

I’ll leave you with this thought: 
If you look at the two definitions of “re-create”, the other version does not involve the concept of change. In fact, it encourages the opposite.

Keep in mind, if your current plan isn’t playing out as you’d envisioned and a shift in the path is necessary, think back to the pencil marks on the door frame- the tracking of your journey with limited growth potential. While the journey ultimately stopped, that doesn’t mean it wasn’t a success.
You made it to the end goal. 

While you “re-create” your path, hold tight to the values that were successful in carrying you this far. What worked for you the first time around?
Maybe it was your work ethic?
Maybe it was your kindness?
Maybe it was your passion? 

Whatever the case may be, celebrate your success to this point, handpick the experiences that will help mold the future, embrace the fear of change, and welcome new opportunities.

Embrace The Improv

Trigger Warning… 

Let’s talk about IMPROV! 

WAIT! 

Don’t let fear take the wheel! 

Keep reading! 

We all know improv can be scary stuff. 

Let me help you make this a little less terrifying. 

Whether it’s professional or personal, the concept of producing “on the spot” content can cause even the most chill humans to spiral out of control. While musicians, actors, and dancers are often challenged with improv exercises, these artistic types are not the only folks subject to such spontaneity. No matter the calling, we are all faced with situations where the ability to improv can separate the “good” from the “great”. In what appears to be the “new normal” (for at least a little while) our willingness to embrace the improv and grow from self-exploration is another key to our ultimate success. 

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Before I go any further, let’s acknowledge a few reasons WHY the word “improv” triggers uncertainty, and in some cases, actual fear in people: 

There Isn’t a Set Plan. Most people like to have a plan and stick to the plan. Plain and simple. Welp, bad news for those of you who weren’t planning for a Global Pandemic: Here we are. The original plan is out the window. It is now our challenge to recover by developing a new plan. Stuck in your plan development? Keep reading. 

What If You “Fail”? You can’t because, in improv, failure doesn’t exist. Improv encourages you to make every situation work… even if YOU KNOW it isn’t the move. So while a particular choice may feel a little unsettling at the moment, worst-case scenario, you learn what won’t work in your situation. Which inadvertently means, there is no such thing as failure. 

Feeling Vulnerable. Some people believe that shifting away from their original plan can make them look weak and/or susceptible to ridicule. Often you hear the idea of being “vulnerable” equated with “nakedness”. Get over yourself. Sometimes even the very best plans just simply don’t work. Instead of focusing on what others might think, worry about what YOU think and how you will FEEL when you come to a plan that works in your favor. 

The Surrender of Control. In theatre, improv exercises have a few basic rules. The first, and arguably the most important rule of improv is: AGREE TO EVERYTHING presented. For some people, No Control=No Bueno. What is important to know is that the final rule of improv is: THERE ARE NO MISTAKES, ONLY OPPORTUNITIES. Remember, the world is your stage. Go with what’s presented and accept that amazing discovery can be found totally by accident. 

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Now that we have acknowledged a few reasons why improv can cause anxiety and how to potentially shift the concept in your mind, let’s set you up for your success! Taking what we teach in choreography and applying it to general circumstances, these 4 concepts will help you open your mind to the “improv exercises” life throws your way: 

  1. 1. Tricks are Cool but the Set-Up is Key. 
  2. We’ve all seen the moments when dancers leap into the air or spin with their leg positioned next to their faces? Pretty cool right? Don’t be fooled. Those tricks are great but only when they are balanced within smooth phrasing. In any plan, the “wow” moments are certainly exciting. There is no denying we need them to ultimately hold the attention of our audience. That said, if we don’t pay attention to the transitions between our “wow” moments, our plan can become very choppy. While you are improvising, think about the big picture “quality of moment”. Take time to hone in on the details of your journey and cohesiveness of all moving parts. Your tricks are MUCH more exciting if we don’t see them coming. 

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  1. 2. Unpredictable vs. Predictable. 
  2. Improv exercises in dance are typically driven by music. Because improv is about exploration, I encourage artists to dabble in the  “unpredictable” when it comes to how they move to said music,  while not losing sight of the fact that audiences may appreciate the artists coming back to something that feels familiar or even predictable. Though your improv may not be driven by “actual” music, I encourage you to use your societal pulse as your backbeat. Shake it up by playing with new, exciting concepts that push the envelope while still choosing to come back to what is relatable for your audience. Your measure of what works for YOU will be trial and error so remember, there are no mistakes, only discovery. 

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  1. 3. Just Keep Moving.. or Don’t. 
  2. Whether you choose to move full speed ahead or choose to stop and pause, commit fully to the choice. If you give something 100% commitment, it is likely your audience will never even realize it if it isn’t exactly what YOU deem a “success”. Commit to your choices and later reflect on how you can continue to improve. 

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  1. 4. Practice. 
  2. If you believe you will be successful at anything in your life without putting in the practice, please let me be the one to clear something up for you: You are wrong. All things in life require practice and improv is no different. The more you allow yourself to embrace the idea of improv and workshop scenarios and concepts, the easier it will be for you to have fluid thoughts in key moments. 

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Above and beyond all of these points, it is most important to remember this: 

Without improvisation, you will not continue to grow and develop your style. 

No matter the industry, having a clear voice, and sharing a story that is personal to you will set you apart from the pack. Through improv, you will continue to discover who you are and what you bring to this thing called life, so CELEBRATE the challenge to be creative and spread your wings. Look your fears in the face with a loud and proud, “Yes, and…” statement and watch new opportunities unfold. 

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This Week’s Overture: 3.30.2020

I saw a ladybug yesterday. 

She was walking next to me on the sidewalk while I retreated from my apartment in an effort to feel normal. Likely unaware of the state of the world, she trotted by, flapping her wings trying escape the steamy concrete. 

Ladybugs are a sign of good luck, you know?
In fact, if you do a little research about them, you will find the following: “Ladybugs are generally associated with good fortune and good luck. They bring with them a sense of future prosperity. Their bright and colorful look, along with their happy-go-lucky travels, mean living life without boundaries.

My friend Christina, a very special “later in life” friend once explained the magic of ladybugs. She told me that anytime you see a ladybug it means amazing things are about to happen. As I am an extremely superstitious person, drawn to any suggestions pertaining to good luck and positive outcomes, I knew this was a sign. 
Good luck and good fortune ahead. 
Forever. Indefinitely. 

Period. 

So, I stopped to observe, pay my respects to her magic and, real talk, simply say hello.
I mean, I get social distancing.
People on the street exercising refuse to even make eye contact these days.
Seriously.  You will not contract Covid-19 through a smile and a wave. Things I now miss.
But I digress. 

I crouched down and pulled my phone out of my arm band to take a picture for my good friend.  As I got closer, I noticed my little buddy had a broken wing. Even still, she was fighting hard to fly. 
Eventually, after we built some trust with one other, she crawled up my finger and I gave her a push. 
Off she went to go live her best, happy-go-lucky life without boundaries.
Nary a care in the world.

No quarantine. 
No social distancing. 
No threat of global pandemic. 

This really struck a chord with me. 

As I watched her fly away, unfazed by her own  broken wing, I saw the uncertainty of the next few weeks ahead with a restored sense of peace. 

The sooner we trust and listen to medical professionals working tirelessly to provide care and solutions in this time of crisis, the sooner we will see the results in our own lives.

With a strong dose of faith mixed with some good common sense, we can train our minds to calm down. 

Even in a time when our hope feels broken, if we all stick together, do our part to help and believe in a little magic, we too will fly again.

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Go 4 It! 4 Tips 4 “Socially Distanced”

Team Member Engagement

We do not need to beat a dead horse, however this is not an ideal situation for most teams. 

Whether we are talking about an athletic team or work team, it is really challenging to keep members engaged and even remain engaged ourselves.

Here are our 4 tips 4 remaining engaged from a distance: 

1. Respect the Distance: Part of a positive team culture is trust. While you may be used to ACTUALLY seeing your team’s productivity with your own eyes, times have changed. Though normally you may not be the micromanaging type, resist the urge to want to know the team’s every movement. Schedule a call one hour after they have started their day and one hour before their day ends to review goals and measure results. 

2. I Challenge You: Kick the week off with a challenge for your team that DOES NOT directly involve anything having to do with their job responsibilities. Get creative and offer a prize at the end.

3. We Got Spirit, Yes We Do: Just because we are working from home doesn’t mean we can’t show a little team spirit! Hold a “Spirit Week”, creating a different theme for each day. Whether it is “Dress like your Boss Day” or “Throwback Thursday”, team members will have fun sharing silly pictures of themselves playing along with the group! Give it a hashtag and involve social media so the world can see just how fun your team/company is! 

4. The Happiest of Hours: Ok, so maybe not every team can participate in a traditional “Happy Hour” but you can still bring your team together to share a little happy! Send an invitation to participate in “The Happiest of Hours” through a video conferencing platform. At the meeting, everyone has to share the happiest thing that happened to them this week.
Personal refreshments optional! 

“Oh How the Tables Have Turned”
Episode 8:
 
Featuring Founder/CEO- Kelly Daugherty 

For our final episode in the Season 1: 8 part interview series of our podcast “Choreograph Your Life”,  the tables have turned on host Kelly Daugherty, who finds herself in the hot seat. Listen in as episode 8 host, Kim Daugherty, gets to the bottom of how Kelly choreographs her own day, how she stays wildly motivated and finally asks the burning question: “What does that “s” stand for in The KDs Collaborative?” 

“Choreograph Your Life” is available this Wednesday at 2pm EST on Spotify and iTunes or wherever you download your favorite podcasts.

This Week’s Overture: 3. 23. 2020

Well, last week was a certainly uncharted territory.  

I had no idea I was capable of experiencing such a variety of emotions in such a short amount of time. As someone who is typically very optimistic and relatively pleasant, I felt wildly out of control of my own disposition.

One moment I felt anxious, the next- hopeful. 

Sometimes I would find myself crying, then, the next thing I knew- laughter. 

In addition, I felt like I was playing a game of “Never Ever, Have I Ever: The Survival Version”; just checking off boxes, one more bizarre than the next. 

Who WAS this person? Real talk: I was NOT prepared for that Kelly to show up. 

  • She was high strung and had over-active tear ducts. 
  • She had a tendency to get real snappy with innocent bystanders. 
  • She certainly didn’t seem to feel like showering was a real necessity… 
  • She talked a big game about “staying positive” but behind the scenes threw a series of pity parties and would cower in the corner. 

What a smelly hypocrite. 

This was “Crisis Mode Kelly” and it was NOT a good look.

But then I looked again and found some redeeming qualities: 

  • She put on her brave face for people who needed hope. 
  • She was creative in strategies to help stay connected with loved ones. 
  • She gave herself purpose by continuing to teach from her living room. 
  • She cooked- not well, but there was effort. 
  • She cleaned- even worse, but again, effort. 

Ok, maybe she can stay… just a revised version perhaps? 

It seems the universe has a funny way of keeping us all in check. 

Almost like it is making sure we remember we have to keep learning. 

It is also seems to be providing a little reminder that we are not totally in charge of our own destiny. Yikes, have I been quarantined too long? 

That feels so unsettling. 

Or does it?

When the universe says: “You are not actually in charge of this”, we learn a lot about who we really are. Sometimes our “not so pleasant sides” decide to make a dramatic entrance and other times we pull up for ourselves and each other. As someone who tends to compartmentalize negative emotions, allowing myself to “feel” the current state of the world has been oddly refreshing. Knowing that ultimately I am only in charge of “how I respond and adhere to professional guidance” has made me feel confident that I am doing all I can in this moment. The universe has a plan and I am not in charge of this event. 

I have one job: Learn myself better so I can control how I respond to things out of my control. 

To me, this IS very settling. 

In exploring these uncharted waters, remember: 

Now is the time to learn about ourselves: The good. The bad. The train-wreck. 

Embrace emotion. Feel emotion. Enjoy emotion. 

You may not have all of the answers. 

You may meet a side of yourself that you don’t totally love to be around. 

Congrats. You learned something. 

Breathe, acknowledge the discovery and then go wash your hands. 

We are going to be ok. 

Introducing: “Living Room Learning!”

Join us for supplemental dance and motivational training videos with Kelly, all suitable for your living room for a small fee of $10 a week via Google Classroom.

Here’s how this works:

To gain access to “Living Room Learning”, at the beginning of the week provide us with your email address and Venmo $10 to @Kellyds. Upon receipt of payment, you will receive an invite to a Google Classroom. Motivational and instructional videos with NEW CONTENT will become available EVERYDAY and will remain in the classroom on demand access.

What’s Included:

  • Upload Time-9AM EST; First Things First Daily Coffee Talks: Motivational Words from Founder/CEO Kelly Daugherty!
  • Upload Time- Noon EST: Daily 10 Minute Technique Tips video instruction for “on-the-go” technical training.
  • Upload Time- 3PM EST Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday/Friday/ Saturday: A variety of full length combo and technique classes.
  • Optional feedback from Thursday Free Livestream Instagram Class. Students may email or DM their video following the Livestream for custom coaching.

TODAY’S SALE: $25 TOTAL for access March 23rd-April 30th!

Available through 3/24/2020! 

Go 4 it! 4 tips 4 Staying Connected!
Now more than ever, it is important that we make strides to continue to stay connected. 
GREAT NEWS! You have so many options at your fingers tips. While texts, phone calls and FaceTime chats are a great way to keep up with our family, friends and co-workers, now is the time to get creative! Here are some of our favorite “outside the box” suggestions for connections.
  
  • Challenge Accepted!- Participate in social media challenges to feel connected and get free laughs!
  • Learn Together!- Take advantage of next to nothing on demand learning and free livestream classes!
  • Zoom Zumba!- Zoom offers a variety of free and paid options to get a virtual Zumba dance party started!
  • Virtual Book Club!- Grab some friends and FINALLY get that book club off the ground!
Episode 7: “T-H-E Mary Kay”
With Special Guest: Mary Kay Daugherty 
While the idea of “working from home” may be the new normal for millions of people around the world, some people have been finding success through independent sales out of their home offices for decades.This week we have one of the best in the home biz game: Mary Kay Daugherty!

As an independent consultant for Mary Kay Cosmetics for almost 4 decades, she has proven that success in sales stems from building and cultivating lasting relationships with customers and holding yourself accountable through daily goal setting.
Listen this week as she shares her secrets for sales success and maximizing daily productivity through a “work from home” lifestyle. 

To learn more about Mary Kay before the episode is available, check her out on Facebook: Mary Kay Daugherty or IG: @marykaydaugherty.

“Choreograph Your Life” is available this Wednesday at 2pm EST on Spotify and iTunes or wherever you download your favorite podcasts.