Shaping the next generation

Published 4:21 pm Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Editorial by Chris Kovatch


As school begins to wrap up and summer break is on the horizon, one of our busiest times of the year is about to begin. Dance Recital. I decided to take a few weeks off from writing to make it a little easier to prep for recital and transition into our summer schedule at our house. The recital flowed smoothly and we quickly moved into our post-recital schedule. Don’t get me wrong; it’s just as hectic. Summer camps, swimming lessons, national dance competitions, preparing for the upcoming dance year, and working towards potentially purchasing a new home are all parts of our schedule. The days zip by quickly and all seems to settle into a new sense of normalcy. Then life decides it has other plans.

It seems like in the past year we have lost more people that we hold dear to us than normal. Of course a part of that is also the fact that we are all getting older, no matter how much I try to convince myself otherwise.

This past week we lost a member of our dance family that has been a fixture at the studio for quite some time. It’s amazing how you remember when kids first start taking dance and then you see them quickly grow up before your eyes. Regina Daniels was a supporter of her granddaughter, Lani, from day one at the studio. If Lani had dance, you knew for certain Regina would be in the lobby supporting her. Any dance competition that was scheduled, you automatically knew she would be in attendance too.

Not only was she Lani’s biggest supporter, next to her dad, but she was also her fiercest critic. When Lani was younger and she was working towards learning some new trick or combo, Regina would often be the one pushing Lani to work harder and focus more on learning the new skill.

Regina was also a grandmother to all of the students at the studio. I often talk about our “Dance Family” and she was an active part of it. She regularly inquired about how things were going for the girls, offered words of encouragement, and even shared a word of direction when needed. She may have been short in stature, but her personality was one that would not be easily forgotten.

While it is easily one’s first response to focus one what has been lost, it is just an important to look at the legacy she left. Her son Brian has the same fierce determination to see his daughter succeed and fervently supports her in all of her endeavors. She also leaves her legacy in Lani. As Lani prepares to enter her senior year of high school, it is evident the impact her grandmother has had on her. She wouldn’t be the young lady she is today without the support and influence of her grandmother. Sharing those life lessons and kind words imparted by Regina will ensure that her legacy will live on not only as a member of our dance family, but more importantly in the lives of her loved ones.

Observing the impact that she had on the lives around her serves as a challenge for us to consider the impact that we have on others. What can we do to help shape the next generation of children?