“People have asked me why I chose to be a dancer. I did not choose. I was chosen to be a dancer, and with that, you live all your life.” Martha Graham.
I may not be (and in fact am not) a great dancer like Martha Graham, but I think this sentiment rings true no matter what your skill level. If you are called to dance, then there is really very little you can do to get away from it.
It took me many years to grow into myself as a dancer. Part of that was physically growing into the grace of my own body as a teenager, part was finding a style that was truly me, and part was finding my own ‘voice’ so that I could communicate my stories and ideas to others. Of course, I’m really still growing into myself as a dancer and don’t expect I’ll ever actually stop.
As a teenager, my dancing was a case of you-name-it-I-did-it, except for hiphop. That just never seemed to work. It wasn’t until I was at university and took a contemporary class that I found a style I could really get on well with. I never held any high aspirations of being a dancer professionally or teacher. I just loved to dance.
But even when you love something, you can be exhausted by it. So I quit dancing and it took me 5 years to go back. That was a year ago. And I have my students to thank for it. They reminded me what it is to love dancing for the pure joy of it, and now I wonder how I did without it for those 5 years.
I’m not sure where my journey in dance is taking me, but I know that I’m going to be living with it all my life.