Aloha… and I hope you are up to your ears in peppermint things!
I just have so many heartfelt thoughts to share with you, so grab a cup of tea and lend me your eyes here for a second.
You may have noticed that I’ve been blogging less here. I want to tell you why.
I have found something that calls me more than blogging here… and it’s teaching. It’s teaching dance to kids in Hawai’i who otherwise have no training because there is no dance culture here other than hula and these kids need more extracurriculars. And these kids are why I stay.
Everyone’s all like, “but you could teach dance anywhere,” and I’m all like, “I don’t wanna teach dance at all,” and they’re all like, “well then come home to New York,” and I’m all like, “I can’t. I’ve been captured and I have to work with these kids specifically for as long as it takes.”
And so I have started to incorporate all I’ve learned about eating disorders and body love into my teaching and the way I talk to these children and it is amazing to me that dance doesn’t have to be the way I knew it to be growing up. The dance teacher doesn’t have to tell the student how to eat. The dance teacher doesn’t have to yell. The dance teacher doesn’t have to pick two piece costumes. The dance teacher doesn’t have to make anyone feel bad about their body. And even though this was my experience growing up, it does not have to be the same for this generation.
So I am here on the Big Island of Hawai’i and I am teaching thirty hours a week and picking costumes for all body types and writing about my discoveries as a body positive dance teacher and these discoveries made their way onto Huffington Post. And when A Mighty Girl, and Sadie Jane Dancewear, and other major publications found this article, it went viral across any organization that advocates for young girls.
And when Sadie Jane dancewear asked me to please write for them to help educate parents and teachers alike, I said yes. And when Sadie Jane dancewear asked me to start designing for them, in order to provide more positive clothing options for all body types, including my Hawaiian girls, I said yes.
And so if you have noticed that there’s less blogs here on Amanda Trusty Says, it’s because I can’t stop writing about dance teaching and how to positively influence young girls. Because I said yes, you can find more of my writing over on Sadie Jane’s blog, than you will here on this blog these days.
And now, you will notice a shop option here on my site here where you can start to buy signature ALOHA line clothing based on my journey, my favorite phrases, and the inspiration that comes from my students.
So let me tell you why it’s important for you to say yes now. I went into this whole designing apparel thing for reasons other than to blast another Amanda Trusty product out into the world. I came to Sadie Jane asking them about apparel other than two piece sets, asking for apparel that could fit all body types, including my girls in Hawai’i. It ended up turning into this beautiful partnership full of generous collaboration and brainstorming about spreading the aloha spirit across the world, with the most important opportunity of all in the final product – a chance to help build dance culture here on the Big Island of Hawai’i.
Some of my students study extra hours a week in a more professional track, and we call them the Company and the Ensemble. These girls are not Sophia Lucia’s. They only started dancing two or three years ago, but they are pre-teens. They do not kick their face or pirouette 54 times in a row. But they work so hard, and they are so hungry for it. They have come late to the game, but they make up for it in humor, determination, and love. They inspire me every day, even when I’m exhausted from working body love advocacy and writing a book all day before I even go into teach for five and six hours. For some reason, I’ve been put here to work with them until whoever upstairs thinks my work is done, and I am inviting you to be a part of that.
Every sale from the ALOHA line I have created for Sadie Jane dancewear helps to fund a dance production that the Big Island has never seen before, featuring the Company and Ensemble dancers that are hungry for more and who have truly inspired the line of clothing I have created. Imagine the opportunity you are giving these girls as they work all year to put on a dance concert full of choreography that is challenging and unlike anything they’ve ever experienced in their life. And all you have to do is purchase an ALOHA shirt which spreads a message that I am so hungry to spread.
I thank you in advance for taking part in their journey, because they are the future. And the future of women, and the future of dance, does not have to look like it did for me when I was their age. Things can be different. And that’s why I do what I do.
Truth be told y’all, I’m exhausted. If I’m being completely transparent, I don’t make a lot of money for all the work that I do, I live very modestly, and my heart hurts from the homesick. Hawai’i has lost most of it’s luster to me mainly because it’s 5,000 miles away from home. But these girls that I teach make everything worth it for me. I started this blog to talk about something no one was talking about – eating disorders and body image in the performance industry. And it’s taken me so many different directions, but I think it was all for one reason. To land me here with these dancers.
Because it inspires me to keep going in every aspect of body love advocacy that I can, so that the performance industry isn’t the same by the time these girls are old enough to try it out.
And if that’s the reason that ALL OF THIS, all these things, all the tears and the heartbreak and the rejection and the starving and the traveling and the confusion was for – to get me to a place where I can change the world for someone else even if it means that I don’t get to experience the spotlight – then I guess in a weird morbid way, it was worth it.
Dude, I’m no martyr. Okay, I’m not saying that leaving show biz was worth it just to come
teach in Hawai’i. But at the same time, I’m saying that leaving show biz was worth it just to come teach in Hawai’i. Does that make any sense? I don’t know how to put it into words other than the fact that I trust, and I have faith, that this is what I’m supposed to be doing right now.
Paulo Coelho says, “when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.” The girls that I teach want this dance production, but they also want more. They want “powerment”, as they call it, and strength, and life lessons. And I believe that you are a part of their universe, conspiring in helping them achieve it.
Your support means the world, and for those of you who have been with me since the beginning, can you believe this journey? I’m still having a hard time grasping all that’s gone down in a year and a half, but I couldn’t be more thankful that you’ve been on the train with me this whole time.
And now, I leave you with the link that gets you sweet clothing with a sweeter message and a stronger purpose. Shop here today to make the dreams come true for a couple little girls in Hawai’i who still light up when I play Roar. And mahalo, for all your time.
(Psst…Don’t forget to subscribe to my newsletter for updates when new ALOHA product comes out, general Nutella recipes, and a million reasons to love your body!)