When Skills Pay Off

No new lesson today. But I thought I'd share an experience I had last night, where digital scrapbooking was truly an amazing thing. Not all books we make need to be for our family scrapbooks. Last night, I had the opportunity of using my skills to create something wonderful for a man looking at the end of his life. I was able to say to him, "Your legacy will not be forgotten." And how grateful I am for that chance!

Here's a little backstory: I started ballroom dancing when I was 14. Two of my four older sisters had already taken classes from Dance Dimension, and had toured to England the year before. I was terrified that I wouldn't be as good as they were, and though neither of them were on the team, I felt I had big shoes to fill. The team was run by Paul and Michelle Wilding. Both of them were trained professional ballroom dancers, and in the four years I took dance there, I learned at a level much higher than your average dance class. Paul had the vision--he wanted to affect the lives of young people through dance. He didn't just want to teach you. He wanted to change you. Michelle made his dream happen. She did choreography, designed and made costumes, and ran the business end. We competed and performed all over Utah, and went on tour to Las Vegas. We won trophies and individual events. They made a lot of sacrfices. Their goal wasn't just to give us a great dance education. They created a social, vibrant, and close family. I am still friends with so many of the dancers I knew then.

That was a long time ago. For the last three years I've had my own ballroom dance team at the junior high I teach at. These kids would never have discovered ballroom dancing if it weren't for the instruction I recieved all those years ago. Last year we learned that Paul has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. I was so upset I just started bawling. This is a cancer pretty impossible to beat--we knew we only had a matter of time. We decided to have a big Dance Dimension reunion in honor of Paul and Michelle, before he passed away.

That reunion was last night. Thank goodness for Facebook! With that tool, we were able to contact nearly everyone from a decade of teams. We had over 100 people jammed into the Marriott last night. There was a dance floor, and I danced my heart out! Don't get to do that very often!

The big moment for me was presenting the Dance Dimension book I had created using Photoshop and printed through Cherishbound. It was a very simple book--I didn't even use a kit. I just created pages with pictures, and pages with letters submitted from old team members, thanking Paul and Michelle for all they had done.

It only took me a few days to pull this book together. We printed it at Cherishbound and it arrived two weeks after I sent it in. When I handed it to Paul, he was wiping away tears. I watched him tenderly look through it, almost reverently. He kept it close to him all night long. People asked me if they could get a copy, and it was nice knowing that at Cherishbound, they can go to the site's public library (once I've submitted the book there) and search for it, and buy it right there. So easy. It was truly an incredible night. I'm so glad that I had this gift to share with two people who had such an impact on my life. When they saw the cover, Michelle cried out a little. I hadn't realized that the photo I'd used for the cover, which their daughter had sent to me, had actually been the picture on their wedding announcements 40 years ago!

Anyway, I just wanted to share this story. I'm so grateful that I have taken the time to learn these skills. Its amazing how much I use them for other things, and not just for my books. Everything from wedding announcements, baby shower announcements, invitations, handouts for church, and ALL the stuff I've made in my own classroom--it's well worth my time. I hope that as you look at these tutorials and wonder if you really have the time, money, and inclination to really get started, you'll realize that you never know when these talents will be wanted and needed. Get started now! Don't wait!

Have you ever used your digital scrapbooking skills for an outside project? Tell me about it!

1 comment:

  1. I am so glad you guys had the reunion. What a precious gift to give someone (and not just at the end of their lives). His legacy of dance and so much more has been recorded for the family to enjoy and pass down to the grandkids and great-grandkids. Bless you for taking the time to make that happen for someone who clearly enjoyed it so much.