During a live performance, nothing is promised, and the audience experiences something new each time the curtain rises. They are able to witness the real-time mishaps and slips that cannot be undone or edited out. Each show is simply an unparalleled mystery to both the dancers and audience members because it is never certain what the outcome will be regardless of the repeated choreography. Even though dancers try to maintain a professional image, we are just like the people in the darkened theater clutching tickets in their palms. We make mistakes. We fall. We have off days just like everybody else. No matter how hard we strive for perfection, we will never be flawless, and that is reality.
Saturday, we took Flight, a guest-choreographed modern piece, downtown with peacock feathers perched delicately in our hair. To be honest, I am quite disappointed with my performance. It was an incredibly stressful night as things continuously went wrong, and I had to endure that defeated feeling as I took a bow. This piece will be performed again later this season, so I am hoping that we can redeem ourselves. As of right now, we must move on because it is going to be a busy week in the studio as we prepare for Alice in Wonderland in three weeks! I will not waste any more time thinking about the past. We have a ballet to learn. 🙂
I am so blessed and honored to know this incredibly talented group of friends that I performed with this morning… We thought the residents at the local senior living facility would appreciate a small Christmas show filled with live music and dances before the big day! I am so impressed with each and every one of these amazing artists, and it is truly a privilege to share that stage with them. I really hope to do this again sometime because it is so rewarding to give back to the community (especially during the holidays). Great job everyone, and thank you so much!
It is so easy to forget why you love this art form when you sacrifice so much of your life inside of a studio with your feet cramping, muscles burning, and sweat dripping in your eyes. It is so easy to forget why you love this art form when you think about how many things you have missed out on by not living a “normal” life for a dream that you may never even reach. It is so easy to forget… until you step onto that stage to dance for hundreds of people and hear their applause… until you experience an injury that prevents you from being able to express yourself for weeks… until you are offered a job contract that allows you to do what you love and not sit in an office all day long… until an audience member warmly touches your shoulder after a performance and tells you how grateful he/she is for sharing your gift…
The fact is, I hear negativity every single day whether it is inside of my own head or from other people expressing their personal unhappiness. I have begun to realize that dance is a mental battle, and it is something that continuously challenges people both emotionally and physically. I have known so many people who have stopped fighting for this dream and have had thoughts of “what if I didn’t, where would I be now?” for the rest of their lives. Do not ever forget why you started dancing, and do not ever forget that magical moment that lit up your young eyes when you discovered it for the very first time. Always remember the power that dance has to heal and change people’s lives, and never allow your current emotions to put out the flame that burns deep within your soul. Remain true to yourself, and have faith through it all.
No matter how defeated you may feel at times, never forget this art form… It is part of you. It IS you… Do you really want to let it all go?
I know that this post was significantly longer than my typical posts, but I just felt like the world needed to read this because these words have been lingering in my head for quite some time now. Too many people in my life have incredible talent, but they are quickly loosing their passion; I don’t ever want that to happen to me.
Photo credits: Richard Jean-Louis
Looking back, I am so thankful that I pushed all of the hesitation aside and took advantage of the opportunity to choreograph HOUR LIVES. This experience gave me a new perspective of my role as a dancer…
*I realized that the dance is a puzzle and the dancers are the pieces. If one of those pieces are missing, the entire puzzle is incomplete.
*I learned that is very important to “sweat the small stuff.” Little details (like angles and head placement) might seem insignificant, but they glue the entire dance together.
*I found out how crucial communication between the dancers and choreographer is. If there is a problem, it is important to speak up so that it can be corrected as soon as possible. Sometimes, the only way to fix a problem is to change the next sequence of steps, and that is very difficult to do on limited time.
This was definitely not an easy task… There are many moving parts in a dance that all need organization and separate movements, and it was very stressful at times. However, the reward of watching my “vision” come alive was absolutely incredible. This is definitely something that I will consider doing again in the future, and I want to thank all of my dancers for being so understanding with me. You all were amazing, and I couldn’t have wanted for a better group. Thank you!
Music… The mood booster that always ends your day on a good ‘note’…. The influence of your highly off-pitch voice screaming lyrics into your imaginary microphone. You think you are having a great time until you realize all of the windows of your house are open and all of your neighbors can hear you *cough*. ANYWAY, I wanted to dedicate this post to all of those music lovers out there who are always searching for new songs… Enjoy!
Safe Haven (Hillary Scott)
Dear No One (Tori Kelly)
At My Best (Machine Gun Kelly)
Beautiful Like You (Lee DeWyze)
*Shout out to the autumn daydreamer for being the inspiration for this post!
Happy International Dance Day!!!
I am so fortunate, blessed, and incredibly honored to be able to say that I am a dancer. This art form has changed my life, and the experiences that I have had will be treasured in my heart forever. Although it can be very harsh at times, there is nothing that I love doing more than dancing. It is my passion. It is my dream. To be honest, I am not sure how far it will take me, but I know that God has a reason for leading me where I am today. I couldn’t be more thankful, and I am excited to continue my journey through the world of dance!
*I recently discovered this group contemporary piece online, and I have been looking forward to sharing it with all of you. I really enjoyed watching this, and I hope that you all do as well! HAPPY INTERNATIONAL DANCE DAY (once again)!
This past year of my life was filled with so many great memories, and I had experiences of a lifetime… From holding my new baby sister for the very first time to watching ABT perform Le Corsaire in New York City, I had a great 15th year. Today, however, I get a new number that will fill my life with its own new adventures.
I have to say that it is pretty cool to be able to share it with this little munchkin. I still cannot believe that our birthdays are only one day apart… Here is to her first!
& here is to Sweet Sixteen!