When the Colorado Academy of the Arts, which she had attended in her youth closed its doors, Jalyn decided it was time for her to fill that void in Fort Collins and start the Academy at the Midtown Arts Center. Having grown up in the performing arts, Jalyn recalls how engrossed she was in acting and that she took every class she could get her hands on.
With a slogan like "Discovering Potential through arts and creativity" it's no secret that the classes at the Academy at Midtown Arts Center are focused on more than kids having a good time. There is a lot of important learning that happens there with developing confident young adults as a key goal in all of Jalyn's acting classes. "People want to hire the kids we teach because they know how to talk to adults and to look you in the eye."
Jalyn also notes that her students are more empathetic towards others and accepting of individual differences than many of their peers who are not involved in the arts might be. She shared her experiences with teaching children on the autism spectrum with me, recalling how classmates would call out his name in encouragement and tell him that it was okay when an autistic boy in their class would struggle.
I hadn't realized that the Academy at Midtown Arts Center worked with special needs children and asked more about it. Without hesitation, Jalyn answered, "Teaching is my passion... We never turn a child away. If someone wants to take our classes, we make it work." Jalyn has students from as young as kindergarten all the way through high school, with all abilities and learning styles, and refers to all 125 of them as "my kids."
As if managing and teaching at her own performing arts school wasn't enough, Jalyn continues to perform in shows at the Midtown Arts Center, where she is currently cast in 'Always, Patsy Cline' and the upcoming 'Ragtime', as well as serving as the Adjunct Professor in Music Theatre at the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley.
I don't know how she does it all! When I asked her, she laughed and explained that if she didn't keep herself busy she'd get bored. This statement stuck with me as a fellow small business owner who's been experimenting with different structures and routines to determine my own work style and how to stay motivated. "Plan your work and work your plan," was her advice to me. Excellent advice, might I add. Whether life and business coaching is in her future or not, Jalyn will continue to inspire me as a fellow woman and business owner who can only hope to accomplish as much and touch as many lives as Jalyn Webb.