Why I Dance

I know that I will never be the best dancer, or the best choreographer or even the fittest woman alive. There will always be someone, somewhere better than me. Dance to me is a lot like life, in that there will always be something that can and should be done better. I’ve learned, however, it’s not the end result that matters but instead it’s the journey.

Most dancers will tell you that they are hooked by performing but those moments on stage are not the moments that remain in their minds and captures their hearts. Instead, the hidden hours in the studio rehearsing, digging deep, struggling, striving, continually trying to get each movement, each emotion perfect is what makes them fall in love with dance and shapes them into the dancer they are. They fall in love with the process….the journey.

That’s how I view life. I’m not interested in the big moments of success in life but instead I want to emphasis the little moments in between the big successes. Those moments that connect to shape our character and mold who we are to become.

I did not attend the most prestigious dance school as a young child. I wasn’t given the opportunity to hone my skills with amazing world renowned teachers until I was old enough to be considered too old. Instead, I came from a childhood of brokenness, sadness and pain intermixed with fleeting moments of deep love and great joy. I worked very hard with every opportunity that came my way and am thankful that dance saved my life, in more ways then one. I am still amazed by the opportunities that continue to come my way each year!

Today I am grateful that I was forced to become a self-learner as a dancer. I was gifted the chance to discover dance without the influence of others. I was allowed to find “me” before I began focusing on my technical ability, and the unattainable quest for perfection. This has affected the way that I teach and share dance with others. For me teaching is about helping others to realize their own magic, to discover their own voice. After 18 years of teaching, I now know the best dancers are able to capture emotions and portray them with grace and mastered skill. Their passion comes from their heart and their experiences, not just from their bodies. Their bodies are only their instruments.

Life never presents a perfect path or an easy road to follow. The journey is full of heartaches, disappointment and setbacks. My journey as a dancer started in the middle of my Dad’s music room, throwing my heart and emotions into my unrefined movements, dancing out the heartaches and the joys of life to the sound of his piano. I do the same thing today.

I dance because it is part of who I am.

I dance because it once saved my life.

I dance because it sets my heart on fire.

I dance because life is hard but without finding the beauty and grace in all of life’s movements, the ups and the downs, then what is the purpose of living?

I dance because I come alive in movement.

I dance because movement is the visual language of the heart and sometimes you just have to say what is in your heart.