We had the good fortune of connecting with Molly Terbovich-Ridenhour and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Molly, have there been any changes in how you think about work-life balance?
As a trained dancer, balance has played various roles in my life. From standing on two feet in positions not natural to the body, to turning poised on the tips of my toes in pointe shoes, little did I know how much balance would impact my everyday life. As I grew into my professional career, I learned to balance working a full-time administrative job while pursuing my passion to dance professionally. What I didn’t notice was the imbalance in my home life. My busy schedule resulted in not being home on the weeknights and weekends for over 3 years, resulting in missing a lot of social and family events. Once I decided to retire from performing, I was able to reflect and see how out of balance I actually was. I began to embrace the space and time I now had and really enjoy not having such a scheduled life. This also created opportunities to be spontaneous. I soon began implementing this in my work life. I created a set work schedule and reserved my non-work time for that, no work. It took almost 2 years to fully achieve these boundaries with home and work and am so grateful for it. My work calendar and email are paused on the weekends and I truly do not resume until Monday morning. Of course, being the leader of a performing arts organization, sometimes the weekend requires work…but when I know this is only occasional (and very scheduled) it is welcomed knowing I have the next weekend to escape. I also encourage my staff to respect their own boundaries in order to have a productive and well-functioning work culture. Overall, I challenge this gradual change for anyone who feels out of balance, but know that it takes time to achieve and is possible.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I feel what makes me unique is that I have a creative business brain. As a trained dancer and arts advocate, I also enjoy managing business operations. I consider working with spreadsheets as a form of choreography and leading people as constant preparation for a performance. It wasn’t until I began working with the youth ballet, that I began to reflect on my own experiences as a budding ballerina in my childhood. Through conversations about the passion, dedication, and discipline the students learn through dance education I began to realize I was living those benefits every day of my life. Dance education instilled my determination to pursue a career in the performing arts and to lead in a field that reciprocates the encouragement, inspiration and confidence it teaches its students.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
What makes San Diego so wonderful is the opportunity to experience the beach, the desert and the mountains within a day. If you have a week, you have the chance to also take in the beautiful sunrises and sunsets, enjoy so much of the amazing culinary extravagance and indulge in some of the America’s Finest craft beer. Honestly, a week would not be enough to explore so many of the unique neighborhoods throughout the county. An ideal all-inclusive experience would include a drive east to camp in the Laguna Mountains to escape the city lights for star gazing and wake up to see the sun rise atop the trees. The following day would be a drive to Julian for some decadent apple pie and a stroll around a fun town. Next we would travel to the North County coast to travel down the 101 for the epic ocean drive. First stop is in Solana Beach for a beer and a pizza at Pizza Port, then on to La Jolla to see the seals, leopard sharks and beautiful blue waves. I would then skip on down to Sunset Cliffs to watch the sun disappear beyond the horizon and hope for a green flash. Additional favorite sites would include: • Bike ride along the Imperial Beach Bikeway • Ferry across to Coronado Island and tour through the Hotel Del and hangout at this very chill beach • Park and walk around Barrio Logan to see wonderful art and enjoy delicious tacos at Salud and a hop across the street to Border X for some more great craft beer • Of course, visit Balboa Park. There is so much to see and experience inside and out which can take a few days. Working every day in the park, I definitely take it for granted – but it is amazing. • Honestly, my favorite place is hanging out at Home – We have worked really hard to make our home our own oasis. With a great backyard pool for relaxing, a professional recording studio, and a mid-century lounge with a stage – hanging with friends in our home is the ultimate delight when entertaining.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
First and foremost, I have to give a loud shout out to my family. My mom, dad, brother and husband are who crafted the being I am to this day. Without their support, honesty, love and laughs, I would not have the encouragement to face challenges and the inspiration to embrace the good and bad days. Secondly, I would love to give a shout out to my friends. Moving around so much throughout my life, I have had the opportunity to meet and retain so many relationships throughout many different aspects of my life. This has allowed for so many celebrations and connections far a wide. From the ballet bunheads to arts administration colleagues to friends met through friends. All have become family and are able to pick up wherever we leave off no matter the time and space apart. Most of all, the thought of continuing to create memories and growing old together grants me so much gratitude and resilience.