If there is anything that I have learned from dance it is simply to own it. It doesn’t matter if you fall on your face or do everything perfect. As long as you own it they are practically the same. The other week my dance teacher told me that studio work was not what she wanted. That studio work is not art. She told me that I was uneducated but that she would fix me. As I hope you can see I was automatically infuriated. However, after a bit of time I have realized that she gave me a bit of honest clay. Now all I needed to do was mold it into something brilliant. This week. I did that.
Recently, we have been working on a choreography project that I have fallen in love with. This week was our last week of working with those movements. Over the class periods we have had to work on them I have been told to use more levels, find dynamic, and it just never seemed like enough. On Wednesday I was just fed up. I had enough of that. I was not going to let some woman tell me that my 15 years of experience wasn’t “good” enough because it was done in a studio.
I pushed myself. Make levels, change tempo, include a motif. You better believe I did it all. What I had created was no longer a flat sheet of art. It was a bumpy canvas filled with colorful paints and textures. I threw myself and then pulled myself back together with intensity and passion. What I gave was more than just my all, it was what I had been feeling and wanting to express through dance for years. When it was all over and I had rolled my heels and taken two more deep breaths, it was worth it.
Exclamations poured from my class mates and teacher. “Where did that come from?!” “Who are you?” “That was amazing!” I realized what I had done was great. Instead of thinking, oh no did I show off was I trying to hard, I smiled and accepted their gracious comments. I have worked my whole life to hear someone other than a friend or family member tell me what I do is good. I felt no bias in that room. It was all utter honesty. Thank goodness for my spitefulness and tendencies to push my frustrations out through hard work.
No ‘thank yous’ to the teacher. Thank you to myself for realizing that negativity can be shaped into brilliance. I hope with all my heart that I can keep dancing like I did that day. It isn’t the sweet compliments that push someone. It isn’t until after they’ve only been critiqued for years that they can really form compliments into something even better. It’s hard to get a big head when you start with a two-dimensional thought processing machine. Here’s to a better beginning. Here’s to dance.