I love dancing! I really do. It’s the one thing in this world that can make me forget about everything and just live in the moment.
My dad took me to my first ballet class when I was 4. I loved it. It was fun for me. Even when I was learning new steps, it was never “work” for me. I enjoyed every minute of every class. I had fun performing, too, but there was a difference. In class, there was always forgiveness for not knowing a step or not being on time with the music. On stage, there was no room for that. There could only be perfection. And since the rest of my childhood was structured the same way, I loved the freedom that going to ballet class gave me.
I really don’t think I came into my own as a dancer until college. I learned about and fell in love with modern dance (what is now being touted as “contemporary”). Modern still needed the discipline of ballet, but there was more forgiveness in the performance structure. And that’s where I found my niche. I loved everything about it! I got to jump and travel and roll around, but also be soft and quiet. It’s almost as if there are no rules. It all had the potential to be beautiful.
I threw myself wholeheartedly into all classes and pieces I was in. I had no fear. I trusted the choreographers and teachers to guide me through. And they did. Even to this day, some *cough*15*cough* years later, I can still remember their words and smile. It meant a lot to me that one of the professors who was choreographing thought I was good enough to be in the front and to learn a phrase from a video in 5 minutes. A grad student saying the other grad students were negotiating to have me in their pieces. And most importantly, a different grad student teaching me how to accept a compliment. (I still may not believe it, but I can at least say, “Thank you.”)
I slowly made the transition from dancer to choreographer. One of my mentors took a chance on my dance for a concert. And that unleashed a beast.
I love creating work to share with others. I love having a picture in my head of how the movement should look and the deeper meaning behind the piece. I love how the combination of the lights, costume, movement, and music can come together to create an experience that can never be recreated. I also love how I can really put myself out there and be vulnerable, but the audience doesn’t know that and can take what they want from it.
Dance is my passion. Whether it be taking a class or choreographing a piece (performing is a nice bonus), that’s where I feel most comfortable in my own skin.
I need to go back to it.