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Our role in Sarasota Dance

Someone wrote to say that obviously “the twist” I implied a few weeks ago was that we were going to pull the rug out from under everyone’s feet to purposely ruin the FLEX recital. Well, at least people are consistent. They immediately think the worst of us. (That makes sense, considering we were such ogres for eighteen years and ran such an awful school . . . And they wonder why we left and moved so far away to live a simpler life.)
I really didn’t want to address these issues before end of year performances had been wrapped up, because in all fairness, I didn’t want to increase anyone’s discomfort. But it seems I have to address events now to help people understand what is happening. 


Let me say first that we certainly don’t want to interfere with FLEX having their show, and have no idea why people are reacting as if we are, because classes leaving the building six days earlier than planned should have no bearing on events. The timing of this eviction was out of our hands once the FLEX management did not meet court-established obligations. That is unfortunate, but at this point, one group rehearsal for the finale can take place as a final class. In fact, Mark and I had to do this one year when we moved the business during the recital season. We scheduled a group rehearsal at a community center and things worked out fine. This is part of the creative solution personality trait all dance studio owners rely on when plans go awry.


If FLEX does not have a recital, it won’t be because of us. There are many costs associated to pulling off a big performance, so the determent would more likely be whether the school has met their obligations in these areas. I happen to know teachers and others are planning to do what it takes to assure a show takes place. The concern about recital should be alleviated in light of this. I even know someone in the wings standing by to step in, should everyone be left in a lurch. Enough said.


Nevertheless, here are some facts about the fate of the building and what will happen beyond the show: Several businesses made offers to purchase the Sarasota building, but “the twist” I alluded to was that we arranged for the building to continue to be a dance school. I thought this would be good news, because all those people who have written me asking for advice on where to train next season now have a perfect solution. SRQ Dance will not be just any school, but one that will be run by a student we trained and mentored. To assure the new school has a sound foundation, Mark and I are giving them guidance, consultation, our expertise in teacher’s training, and we plan to come back in the fall to choreograph. These are all things we offered FLEX management after we left, but our involvement was declined. Things will be different this time around.


Whether or not the owners of FLEX re-open under a new name with entirely new staff and entirely new resources is anyone’s guess. We don’t know how this will be financially feasible, considering they cannot meet the minimum obligations agreed upon in settlement, but that is not for us to say. If the Mendisons do open a new school, we wish them luck with it. We think they are fine people with good intentions, despite what has transpired between us. We don’t understand their business choices, but differences are what makes the world go round.
 
Meanwhile, under the assumption that FLEX would not survive, we have worked with the Boyas’ on their business plan and poked holes in their ideas, testing their organization and intentions. After weeks of this back and forth, I can attest that they have more than a fancy website and promises to offer everyone. SRQ dance is set up to DELIVER what they advertise. I am so tired of dance studio’s bragging about the future- because anyone with any experience or understanding of the complexities of the dance business knows the reality will fall short of the grand promises being made. There is also an inexplicable attitude that the school with the advanced dancers WE trained somehow validates the studio’s worth. How ludicrous. The fact is, a school is only as good as the students THEY train and it will be years (ten or so) until anyone can judge which teacher or institution really knows what they are doing by evaluating the dance student’s skills. Everyone’s focus now is on competitions, choreography, and advanced dance numbers, but the true focus of a good school should be on devising progressive educational programs. The obsession with a plastic trophy as a measurable result to wave around doesn’t point to a very good future for these schools in our opinion.   But then, we are dinosaurs and with old-school attitudes about what makes a quality dance school. Perhaps we were put to pasture just in time.


Nevertheless, assuming we know something about dance education, we are excited about the school Cory and Sharon Boyas will be opening, SRQ dance. Here’s why.


Cory can run a dance school “as only a lifelong dancer can” who happens to have professional dance experience as well as management training in business. Cory was trained by us and like most of our former students, had his glory years as the winner of competitions (Mr. Dance of Florida and others) and as a soloist with the West Coast Dance Project. This makes a fine little bio to give customers confidence, but after this, the important qualifications begin. Cory went on to study in New York. There, he worked with dance companies and for theatrical productions. He was on scholarship with a few of the best schools in New York and went on to tour Europe. His expertise goes far deeper than growing up with FLEX as his single source of knowledge. He has professional associations and connections that will help him to devise a great dance curriculum – not to mention his positive association to us- which means we are an ongoing resource for the school too. On top of this, he is customer service oriented. Thanks to his background, working in management for two of the most prestigious service companies (Starbucks and The Hyatt) for several years, he is very professional and can handle the business side of running a school.  Dance knowledge is important, of course, but to be an effective director you need to be very skilled at the business end too. This is what establishes security and longevity for a school. Cory has impressive computer skills, marketing experience and great instincts, all necessary for his future role as dance school owner.


His wife,  Sharon happens to be a preschool teacher, soon to be certified as a director. This, along with her great organizational skills, makes her highly qualified to manage the preschool and youth education aspect of the school. This couple has noble aspirations to expand SRQ  to become a credited performing arts school one day, and I suspect they could pull it off. But they know to go slow and make changes sparingly with great care. Sharon’s parents are principals of a school as well, so teaching comes naturally to the family. (Cory has also worked on staff at a school).  The relatives are going to be involved too, which brings maturity and experience to the educational divisions of SRQ. As a graduate of the theater department of Booker, Sharon has experience as a theater techie too – which means she has training in backstage management, costuming and lights. As anyone can see, this couple is well qualified to run recitals and other performing events too.  They hope to serve  mostly as directors and office management, but they are fully qualified to sub classes, manage artistic programs and hire terrific staff. They have invited past FLEX staff to join the school, should the teachers find themselves looking for work, but we have made ourselves available to help train new staff if those dance teachers we trained previously make other choices. I can’t see how SRQ can fail to have a good program considering the attention being paid to future staffing issues.


Frankly, I can’t think of a single element of managing a kick-butt school that the Boyas couple are not qualified for. They also happen to have four kids, so they have the parent’s perspective on what really counts in regards to the kind of environment a parent would feel comfortable entrusting their children in. They are investing their life savings on a dream, and for a couple with four kids to educate and raise, that speaks of their serious intentions and commitment as well.


But what really sold me on this couple was not their compiled list of attributes. It was attitude. In talking to Cory, I’ve learned just how decent and earnest he’s become as an adult. Like many of the teens we trained, he had his difficult moments as a young man. But he has hard-earned wisdom and humility now and a great attitude. He and Sharon want foremost to have a high caliber school. They don’t seem nearly as interested in getting rich or being a dance superpower, as they want to influence young people to develop into great artists and great people. They hope to enrich lives through the arts. That is what it is all about, and anyone who operates from this place is bound to build a fantastic school. Most importantly, they despise personal drama and are devoted to diffusing emotional upheavel believing it is non-productive in an arts school. I think people will appreciate that. 


Cory wrote us a few weeks ago, explaining what he thought were his strengths and weaknesses as a dance teacher. He certainly has no delusions about his value or unexplainable arrogance regarding his skill, and that is refreshing. He asked our opinion about how he could improve in the area’s that needed improvement, and wanted our opinion about how to best utilize his strengths. He asks all the right questions and is so open to personal growth.


Mark and I don’t ever intend to shoot down anyone’s dream when we play devil’s advocate or point out weaknesses in a concept, but we did hit Cory with all kinds of questions and obstacles to see what his plans included. We have done this to each other for years, which is how we avoid many pitfalls. Planning is everything.  And every time, he and Sharon came back with carefully researched and well-thought out answers. They are solution oriented, always with an eye on what is ethical, and best for the students in the long term. Their lack of ego is key.  And they have showed us true respect, which is the mark of a generous artist. Most impressive of all is the hard work they have invested already in this, the formative period of their enterprise. They are tireless, enthusiastic and very positive people. In fact, the way they go above and beyond, never delegating the work to others but diving in to do it themselves, reminds us of us in the early years. Mark and I think they will be very, very successful, and it won’t depend on enrolling current FLEX students. This couple will train great dancers on their own, and they will have a progressive school that will appeal to many, many people. They don’t need other people’s students to make it work. But if other dance school options don’t manifest, students will at least have a wonderful new alternative to consider in SRQ.


We are happy because this solution gives closure to our years in dance. In a perfect world, FLEX would have thrived and been successful, and we wish it were so, but in light of the fact that this didn’t happen, what is the next best thing? I think a new school whose vision is an evolution of our past is perfect. It won’t be the same school, nor should it be. A copy of our school would be only that. A bad copy. Better, a school built on the foundation of all that was good before, with a changed and evolved definition to meet the needs of the current dancers in Sarasota. The FLEX of everyone’s past was wonderful – but that was because it met the needs of the dancers of the past. Today, our culture is different, and so should be the school servicing them.


We feel horrible about how things ended with FLEX and wish things had worked out differently. It has been a very painful two years for us. All I can say is, until you are the one forced to unplug the life support on something you deeply love, I suggest people stop passing judgment. Everyone has strong opinions, but they lack the  facts required to understand all that has truly transpired.


Before I close, I’ll tell you what compelled me most to help make SRQ a reality.  In one of our conversations, Cory said to me, “We sure would love to get that building, but if I told you why, you’d laugh at me.” Of course, I made him confess.


He said, “The night I married Sharon (they had a whirlwind romance and got married on the spur of the moment without anyone knowing- seemed risky, but four kids and years later it’s proven the right choice) we drove to FLEX and spent our first night together sleeping in our car parked on the side of the building. At sunrise, we went to take a walk on the beach and afterwords, I drove to your house to tell you and Mark that Sharon and I got hitched (they were both our students around that time). That building is sort of symbolic for us, the place we began our married life, and therefore, very special.”


Of course, FLEX was the backdrop for my marriage too, the place where Mark and I raised our children, built a future and established many wonderful memories. It occurred to me in that instant that here was a couple who would really love that facility with the same reverence and intensity we loved it. Not because they grew up there and it was a part of their childhood history, but because it was tied into their future too. While everyone is quick to say, “business is business”, the fact is, for some artistic types, “business is passion and making a difference.” ( Apparently, I think helpless romantics make good dance school owners.)


That made me think about Cory’s connection to the building. When we first bought it, he was a scholarship student and because he our only a guy, he helped Mark with remodeling construction. I remember we rented scaffolding and Cory and Mark painted the entire back room. They called me and asked me to bring them sodas and a snack. It was 2am. I remember showing up and seeing my boys all paint splattered and punchy from being so tired. They made off-color jokes just to keep awake and because it amused them to get me agitated, (I always reprimanded them like children when they made classless jokes.)  I remember the laughter and camaraderie despite the grueling work, and how much I appreciated there being someone other than me up on that scaffolding to help Mark do this awful job.


I believe in Karma. I think Cory helped us back then out of true appreciation for our tutelage and friendship. But I like thinking he was really helping himself. Perhaps fate was laying the foundation for his future. We all thought he was painting our back room, but really, he was painting what as going to be HIS back room someday, even though none of us knew it at the time. A young boy was helping us accomplish our dreams, and now, it is our time to help him realize his.
Call me a romantic, but this feels so right to me. 


It’s no secret to anyone that I am too sensitive regarding dance and FLEX. So, more than anything else, sometimes it is best to trust Mark’s instincts. He has talked to Cory, reviewed the numbers,  looked over their business plan and discussed artistic goals and how to achieve them with both Sharon and Cory. And after hanging up the phone, he turned to me the other day and said, “I swear, these two could really pull this off and have a fantastic school. I’m so impressed with all they’ve done. They’ve worked harder than anyone else we’ve witnessed so far, and in the end, it is all about hard work and innovation.”


Watching the final days of FLEX is painful, but the rising of SRQ makes closing the door easier somehow. Time to pass on the mantel of dance on to people inflamed with ambition and passion for the job at hand. And for those that speculate, it is important to know we are not selling the school or the resources to them, although that could have been arranged. No, we are giving what we can to a former student whose friendship and loyalty has meant a great deal to us. This couple has a huge head start now for building a dance empire of their own. That means a great deal to us. There was a time we supposed this would happen with another protégé, but we were mislead by her true intentions. It was painful disappointment because we always dreamed that if FLEX didn’t make it, one of our students would step forward, carry on our heritage and make us proud. 
Here he is, folks.  

So, regardless of what others may think, Mark and I are pleased that something good will rise out of all the recent dance disappointments. We have cut our losses regarding former students that chose to treat us with distain once they thought they had no use for us, but we celebrate the former students who remained close friends (many of who visit this blog regularily).
  
We earnestly hope for the best for everyone involved in dance in Sarasota. To those still at FLEX, to those that left to participate in a new school, and to those who quit dance altogether because the volatile nature of the fighting ruined the experience, we want to say that we hope you find what you are looking for and are happy. Keep dancing. In the end, it doesn’t mater where, because it is an internal journey.
I guess, we have all learned hard lessons, but that is something to respect too.  

Now, I am done discussing dance on this blog and I won’t revisit this issue so don’t bother checking in. I’m returning to talk of chickens, bees, literature, wine and horses, which will no doubt thin out my audience considerably. As such, everyone out there must follow their own heart and instincts in regards to dance.
The Hendry’s are old news. 

(The only way I’ll ever mention dance would be in another capacity come fall. I am totally jazzed as I listen to music for my next piece. Lots of ideas clogging up my brain after a two year sabatical. I’m thinking a square dance in beesuits with a bottle of homemade wine balanced on the kid’s heads . . . chicken feathers in the hairpiece, of course. . . Ha.  don’t panic, Cory, I’m kidding.) 


 



 

About Ginny East Shaddock

Director of Heartwood Retreat Center, Ginny is also a writer. This is her personal blog with essay form writing about life and reflection. My entries are often lengthy and random, because I'm not here to promote or sell anything. I'm not expecting followers - just find this format a good place to think with the pen.

21 responses »

  1. Ginny,Well in words how pissed do I feel……I cannot explain but to call those people Dum…asses as my sister would put it. Everyone wants to blame someone but they never want to look at the positive that comes out of things. For years as a dancer at Flex I put my love and devotion into dance….Not Ginny and Mark. You gave me the tools to use as I wanted and what I did with them was my own choice. Not Yours. In the end I left my Senior year in High Sc hool but it was my choice not yours and I regret it, and then I came back. But I have learned my lesson from it. No matter what decision I made for myself you and Mark were still there for me. Even when I came back a year later and wanted to take tap. Flex is a name, the people who were involved made it what it was. I am glad that one of us (by us I mean the true lovers of what dance is and remember why we stayed with it) is continuing with dance education. Good luck to Cory and all that he represents. I am sending students your way and I would love to be a part of it. From a dancer to Stage Mom, and from my genes I can be a Backstage Mom Nazi. I get it from the best. Mama Jo! By the way she sends her Love and she will continue her support of SRQ dance!!!

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  2. Now that’s a nice twist…. 🙂

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  3. Somehow, I got “unsubscribed”.

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  4. You certainly didn’t get unsubscribed by me. Hummmm…. who are you dating now?  She probably worries that she has competition, and has already ordered a sexy bee suit of her own.

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  5. Crystal Giorlando

    Ginny, I am so excited that Cory has purchased the old FLEX building. Remember that FLEX is just a name, but the true meaning of FLEX is the spirit and commitment that comes with it. I too believe that Cory and his wife will do well with their new dance studio. After all, he was taught by two of the best. Don’t let what other people say make you feel down. If the new owners wanted to honor their word they too, could have practice for the finale at a different venue. I remember when you moved fron Bee Ridge to the new Bahia Vista location at recital time. I seem to remember that you and Mark had a rehearsal at Colonial Oaks Park (or something like that). Anyway the recital went off without a hitch.Where there is a will there is a way!!!I loved the hummimgbird story with Neva. Just goes to show that sometimes life can come back at you full circle. Anyway, hold your head high!! Mark and you have nothing to be ashamed of. I for one, am elated that a person with the same integrity as you will be in that same old building that my daughter grew up in. Jessica is getting married on July 21 and I can’t wait to take my grandchildren to a dance studio that has the same ideals that Mark and you had. Let the anger and sadness disappear, I am sure that Cory and his wife will make you proud.. Let it go,Crystal Giorlando

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  6. After reading your lengthy blog I can only say, “shame on you!” Everything you say is noble and even valid. I understand business deals gone bad and I understand why you are supporting your protégés in SRQ; HOWEVER, your timing is inexcusable. The people you have hurt the most are the young dancers and their parents who are now left without a home base two weeks before the recital that they have spent a long year working for. Your comment about “creative solutions” is not really valid in view of the fact that FLEX obviously doesn’t have the resources to be very “creative” at this point. I don’t feel your love for the students or the dance. It just looks like a vindictive move to strike out at those who have hurt you from a business standpoint. As you said, FLEX was your baby. Why couldn’t you have waited a week so that the name and place that you brought to life could go out with dignity?

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  7. The facts have been so twisted and misrepresented to you all, that it I can’t do anything but shake my head and feel sorry for you.   Eviction doesn’t happen overnight,  and it doesn’t happen because someone didn’t pay one or two or even three months rent.This eviction was first on the table in July of last year. It officially was documented ( check the courts) in December. We got the completed legal eviction in April BEFORE tickets went on sale, and there were chains on the building. The owners broke in and resumed business – without legal right. We chose not to create a scandal and let it go, hoping the article in local papers, the eviction notifications in the papers (and talk) would warn customers of what’s to come. You think we could throw them out on a whim? Ha. Each round costs us as much as a new car, and they have forced us to go rounds and rounds. And frankly, we can’t afford to go back to the starting gate once again because our final relief and the end of this nightmare came at an inconvienient time.  You think this is about money. It is. We are so at the point of disaster that we can’t sleep at night.This eviction wasn’t a surprise to anyone – not staff who called us every week for updates on the eviction, or the owners who dragged US into court at great additional expense to set up when and how they would be evicted if they didn’t meet minimum court obgligations.  They didn’t do what they had to do an they KNEW that would have reprecussions because a judge made it VERY clear. And they didn’t return calls from our lawyer when they defaulted yet again either to discuss options.But go ahead and blame us. We have been gone for TWO years, yet somehow we are the reason FLEX is failing. We must be very powerful people to have that much influence 500 miles away without a single dance thought in our head. But perhaps the Mendisons are right and  FLEX is only having a bit of trouble because of the Hendrys. That makes sense. It appears that even though the managment can not meet base obgligations, they have a brilliant new studio being set up. No one is scheduled to teach there (ask staff who has and has not given official notice and do the math). They no longer have the FLEX name. The no longer have any of the teaching materials or rights to the systems or structure such as the children’s program we designed. They do not have a lease. They do not have rights to barres or mirrors or mats or desks or music or anything else from their former locations that is required to set up a new school, so they are starting from scratch. But by all means, I think you should register. They are excited. You should all be thrilled. Perhaps they have stuffed cash in the matress instead of paying the minumum (decreased) amounts we mutually agreed upon. That was a smart move – not like they needed to stay in their location for the recital or anything. Or perhaps they have big investors so they didn’t need to fulfill their obgligations to us. I’m sure there are lots of people who are impressed with their savvy dance school management skills who want to support FLEX . . ooops, it isn’t FLEX anymore. It will be something else now. Well, I’m sure it will be something great.  The fact is you don’t know the facts. You don’t know the concessions we made. The leinency we have given over payments missed. The fees we dismissed and the restructuring of loans to make it feasable for them to survive. You don’t know about our ongoing help, the three times we flew up at our own expense to keep staff from walking and how we gave them numerous graceful exits in hopes to make this not be an ugly situation.You don’t know that we have turned the other cheek over and over again, despite how we’ve been discredited or treated, not being vindictive, but trying to take the high road in the interest of the least disruption to the dancers. And you don’t know how much expense we have incurred because we don’t want to play hardball, and how they have taken advantage of that. It sure is easy to point the finger to Georgia when people are mad as hell.Don’t think for a minute this eviction came easy or quick. In fact, it only happened when it did because WE were dragged into court yet again in the new owners attempt to avoid paying what was due – and perhaps a glance at the court records will make things clear. Don’t take our word for it, or the Mendisons. Facts are readily available for anyone who cares to look at the county courthouse.  We were not in control. But we are not sorry to see an end to our nightmare. Frankly, if this is all supposed to be about dancers getting their due, what about us? We are dancers too, you know, dancers who have devoted a lifetime to the art and who gave up our livelihood only to be discredited and to be cheated from fair payment for what we handed over in good faith. Had we known we would not be paid for the school, we would have kept it. We would have HAD to keep it. This is a serious blow to us too – a devastation. You will soon forget your frustrated recital experience. We will never be able to shrug and say, “Gee, that was mean of them.”  For the record, we even had a back-up plan to be sure you all had a recital if they bailed. Rehearsal space, a way to pay the theater debt and we were dumb enough to offer to come down to run lights and help organize that mess. We never thought this meant you wouldn’t have a show, and we made plans just in case. Blame us. I don’t care anymore. I suppose it will be our fault when no new school opens too (Like we have anything to do with that?), or when that recital doesn’t pull off because things are not put in order (should have been ready to go weeks ago) Yes, the Hendrys in Georgia are at fault for it all – for the decline of FLEX, for the fact that promises made by others are not kept, for moneys paid for services not rendered (that will be because of us, not because of false claims despite realistic possiblity) and while you are at it, we are to blame for every bad dance that you might have to sit through at the theater in two weeks because that last class they missed was the one class that was going to make every dance PERFECT.  It is our fault when the kids don’t point their feet too, I guess.I just wonder why no one does research to learn what is really going on? They continue to listen to the people who are creating the problem and Believing them. Amazing.You want us to go out with dignity? We did. We left a healthy school with wonderful students and a good healthy artistic environment. We left a school with a wonderful reputation, leaving the new owners with a prime space (under market value) so they could thrive. We left promising to help if they needed it (although our advice was distained, and within two months we were banned from the school). We did leave with dignity, and it has been stripped from us time and again. Don’t beleive it? Ask some of your teachers who have been privvy to this mess and the fact from the beginning. Ask if we tried to help and if we are the only reason they lasted as long as they did. Perhaps I should have a party with an open forum of legal documents for people to puruse. But why? I don’t need your forgiveness or your understanding and you are far happier jumping to conclusions.  Nevertheless, I think it is time the Mendisons take responsibility for their own actions.  If you think we did this on a whim to be mean, try evicting someone. Better yet, put your entire life savings into a building and rent it to the Mendisons. They are looking for a space and that is a great investment for you.  I think you should risk your entire future for them.   It is inexcuseable for you not to do something to fix this problem, even though you did not create it. Have some dignity. Do it for the dancers.     

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  8. There is a December one too if you go further back…
    And remember, the schools are in two different counties, so we had to suffer through all of this cost and trouble in Sarasota County and then repeat it all in Manatee as well.  We also have to fly in from Georgia for each trial at a moment’s notice. It never ends . . .

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  9. I’m providing the following links to public records, not as a personal vendetta against anyone, but so that people may see the truth. I realize that some people are not as computer savvy as others, and may not understand how to look up court documents, so I’ve done it for them.That being said, I have no personal quarrels with the Mendisons, although they have attacked SRQ indirectly in a letter to their current students three months before we’ve even opened, I see it simply as a defense mechanism stated out of fear. I am simply a seeker of the truth. And as a business owner, not giving full disclosure to your students and clients is ludicrous and creates distrust both in and out of the organization. The sad part is that if everyone had been open and honest up front, I guarantee that parents and students would have rallied and had fund raisers and car washes and bake sales in an effort to get through this difficult time. It would have, in fact, created a unified, solid school that would have reinforced the value of perseverance and made the school stronger, but I guess keeping up appearances seemed more important, and so here we are…Let me also clarify that SRQ will not occupy the space until mid-Summer at the earliest, and had no intention of interrupting class schedules or recitals. In fact, we called several locations in an attempt to help secure rehearsal space for FLEX, and even were willing to rearrange summer classes at the school where we currently teach so that the space there could be utilized for FLEX rehearsals. Sharon and I feel saddened that it all ended as it did, as are the the Hendry family. And Mark and Ginny have told me to separate myself from them as much as possible for the time being, but I cannot in good faith stand by and listen to the nonsense being spewed and the continual lies to manifest over two people who are closer to me than my own parents.Yes, it was unfortunate timing, but only of the Mendisons own volution.Read the papers and dates listed below and remove any doubts. There were no surprises, and this was not a blindsided attempt on the Mendisons. This day was a long time coming…December, Manatee County…http://www.manateeclerk.com/mpa/cvweb2.asp?ucase_id=77819642Recent Sarasota County…http://www.clerk.co.sarasota.fl.us/oprapp/oprbrowse.asp?pg=1

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  10. Sorry Ginny, but I also wanted to address another passage from the circulating FLEX letter which indirectly addresses me. The passage is: “Yesterday we were faced with our smallest students watching in horror as individuals went into FLEX ripping items off the wall and smashing Flex memories, or throwing them in the dumpster. We as human beings cannot comprehend how anyone wanting to open a competing dance studio would subject children to such a cruel act.” First off, nothing was thrown in the dumpster or smashed. Secondly, the only person in the building was the office manager. Third, there were three vehicles which pulled into the driveway during the eviction, and yes they had dance students, and I’ll be the first to admit that it was really bad timing, but this passage that paints a picture of classrooms full of children watching in horror as we came in and looted and destroyed their school is a complete fabrication. The truth is that we were directed to remove any indication of FLEX’s presence within customer view immediately. And why would we be ordered to do such a thing? Well, with the previous illegal re-entry into the Lakewood Ranch property: http://www.topix.net/content/kri/3669894625417179284701439362690300012773 We were told to remove any doubt that this was only temporary. My apologies for any duress I may have caused to those three or four students. That was not my intention. I have just as many FLEX memories as they do, and I was just as saddened tearing it down. The truth is that the spirit of FLEX does not reside in a piece of plastic on the door. It is in our spirit, and with us always. I think Maya Angelou sums up how I’m feeling right now: “You may write me down in historyWith your bitter, twisted lies,You may trod me in the very dirtBut still, like dust, I’ll rise.”

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  11. Cory, I wish you, your wife, and your kids all the best with the new dance studio. I can’t wait to hear updates on it.Are you working in the studio right now to get it ready? I would love to stop by and visit. I’ll be in Sarasota on June 20th. I haven’t seen you in forever!!And I love “Still I Rise.” Nice choice.

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  12. Thanks, Jaime! I think the last time I saw you was the summer before I left and you were embarrassed that your mom had rented a periwinkle car for your trip out of town. We’ve garnished a lot of support so far, and hail hail, the gang’s all here. Jessica Smith is interested in teaching some master fitness/nutrition classes (between the next DVD and book deal, of course. Sorry, Jess, I couldn’t resist…)and Jackie Brenes is also very excited to be back in the studio. We have teachers from a few other schools looking to make SRQ their home next year. I’m really excited about the strength and diversity of the teachers who have expressed interest. It’s overwhelming. I guess I can cut the expense of advertising for teachers in the newspaper! By the way, when my wife asks, “Who’s Jaime?” I always refer to you as “the beautiful dancer who can touch her toes to the floor while laying flat on her back simply by pointing her toes.” We’re not occupying the building until mid-Summer, but we are helping Ginny’s family with painting and moving, so we should be around. But be forewarned, if you do stop by I will demand you to demonstrate to my children your amazing feet. E-mail me. I’d love to see you.

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  13. Cory I also wish you and your wife the best. If you need any help, I am here in Sarasota and would love to be a part of it! And Jaime, what about me, I haven’t seen you in forever too! I would love us all to get together@!

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  14. Denver Hendry

    No matter what, my parents have ALWAYS done whatever they could for EVERYONE associated with their business. Countless scholarships, donations (both time AND money) and disruptions of their OWN lives throughout the years have sadly gone unnoticed by people (like YOU “Laurie”). How dare anyone assume ANYTHING about my family other than the fact that they have spent a large portion of their lives (and ALL of MY childhood by the way) catering to you spoiled, selfish people. I believe that everything happens for a reason and that all who are good get what they truly deserve in the end. This past year, I have been overwhelmed at how happy my family has been. Despite the fact that all this legal bulls**t has come dangerously close to sweeping the rug out from under them and destroying all that my parents have worked for; they have continued to enjoy what really matters in life: Each other.And as much as certain people believe that the things they say and do,will change the lives of my family – they are wrong. Think of the amount of time that has passed since the sale of FLEX……. TWO YEARS! TWO YEARS of emotional strife and financial burdens effecting even my 10 year old sister. People slandering the name of my family so even I had to sever life long friendships with fellow dancers for fear that they were “spying” on me.Whatever happens to you people in the next 2 months cannot POSSIBLY even come close to what my family has been through in the last 20 years. You will get your school back, and it will be better than ever. Your daughters will still be able to win trophys and wear tutus dripping in rhinestones. Your lives will go on (BELIEVE IT OR NOT) despite the two weeks you’ve missed.But my mother missed seeing my senior solo, (my very last) because she was in the other room clapping for someone else’s 10 year old.Yes FLEX was my mother’s baby. But wake up lady. She has three REAL ones to raise.And no matter how proud she may say she is of your child. She will ALWAYS love us more. And can you really blame her? She’s a mother for god’s sake. My parents are the most amazing people I have ever known and at the very LEAST, they deserve some peace. Please just leave my family alone.The world is so much bigger than FLEX.

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  15. Ginny–Thank you for dinner last night. Sharon and I really feel so privileged to know someone like you and Mark who we can always trust to be open and honest and up front with us. It was great shooting around ideas about how the studio will operate and analyzing our strengths and weaknesses and what we want to accomplish. We are honored that you are able to help us realize our dream of owning our own business. And that our children are able to have a nurturing environment in which to flourish as they mature. I know things are crazy and complicated for everyone at the moment, but I also know that in the fifteen years we’ve known each other, you have always been a beacon of strength, and I have no doubts with regards to you passing the torch with clean conscience and sound mind this time. Thank you again for the opportunity to hold onto the building where my married life began, the place my children love as their “fortress,” and a solid future for all of us.With all of my Wishes,Cory.

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  16. Okay, Kathy, you are unofficially in charge of corralling the stage mothers! Lots of experience there! Just kidding. Thank you for your support! Would definitely like to see everyone. Anyone have an attendance sheet from 1993?

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  17. So let’s plan something! I’ll be in town from June 20th to the 26th. I’d love to see you too. 🙂

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  18. hermes バッグ

    あなたのガール フレンドだけ保った何か有益なことに、劉ホイ最初言った李越どのように良い彼女の母完全に考えにくいことです。ルイヴィトンのハンドバッグは最も席の間で議論の手のバッグのブランドの一つは、女性。最も世界中の女性は、ビジネスに関する支配的です。これらの市民検索適切なハンドバッグを作っているし、需要の上昇。リンジー ・ ローハンも作られ迷ってコミュニティー大気村の男性 1 年間、女性だけの外作業していると子供たちの仕事、小さな町の女性は家事をしていない、実を通して続いて行く学ぶ村風力タービン日下部汚い、麻雀を再生する方法。

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  19. マークジェイコブス 店舗

    主に能力の大きさとは別の経験に基づいて、いくつかの認定がありますに関連付けられているでしょう誇らしげに A +、ブランドン ・ ヴィトン シューズ コミュニティ +、眼鏡店で同じ時間安全 + 証明書のような信じられないほどに位置しています。占められるプレの快適さと贅沢な変更、強力な内自分自身を見つける場合局所性セキュリティとプロと認められたどこでも我々 惑星地球から見てし、ものコンプティア safeness 公式の資格から取り出します。セキュリティ近く労働統計のインストール設定に属する入金認定の助けを借りて、最も尊敬の間に傾向があります。プロは書類を調整の変更と共に整理あなた自身独自のソフトウェアを取得することができます幻想的なエネルギーで作業を開始し、さらに履行に関連して企業登る。

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