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As we head into the holiday season and towards a brand new year, the staff of Heidi Duckler Dance Theatre is taking time to reflect on 2015 — the experiences, memories and lessons. This blog post is the first of a series of these reflections.

Image by Andrei Andreev

Lesson: Everyone has a unique way to give

DAVID MACK, Strategic Director: One of my favorite parts of working at Heidi Duckler Dance Theatre is how focused this company is on coming together and creating a great experience for our community. We’re lucky to have amazing volunteers who help us do this throughout the year. Recently, we held our 30th Anniversary Gala. Many of our regular volunteers helped make the event a success, but we also had a new volunteer that night—the young daughter of one of our board members. Despite being the youngest of everyone working at the event, she was diligent, poised and willing to do whatever we asked of her. She could have been confused with one of the other staff members. She even stayed through the end of the event and helped stuff grab bags for Gala guests. I was so grateful for her help. As we look ahead to #GivingTuesday and the holiday season, it’s important for us to remember that we all have unique ways to give to the communities around us.

Image by Mae Koo

Lesson: Little Gestures go a long way

RITA SANTOS, Production Manager: My first Heidi Duckler Dance Theatre experience was in February when I volunteered at “Parts & Labor: Redux.” I was instantly impressed by the audience experience. Heidi had complimentary snacks and drinks for the audience ready to enjoy, both before and after the show. For someone who loves free food, I was joy-filled when I offered audience members delicious wine, cheese, and later on, cake! Simple gestures like this are a treat for patron and make their night out a little more special! This Summer I was selected to serve as Heidi Duckler Dance Theatre’s Production Intern through LA County Arts Commission’s Internship Program. At the conclusion of my internship, Heidi offered me a full time Production Manager position at the company. At every performance, I still look forward to the free food, and am still so happy to know that when an audience member purchases a ticket, not only are they getting an incredible performance that will inspire their minds, but they’ll also never watch the show on an empty stomach!