Saturday, July 28, 2012

A Dream Realized

When I was 13, my dream was to dance in a professional dance company. I kept that ambition a private pipe dream until I reached college and even then I talked myself down from lofty dance company goals.  I am relieved that I stuck to my goals for Orlando. I took class, auditioned, and kept my passion for dancing alive. It was that passion for dancing, along with my strong technical background, that landed me in a company down here! A year and a half after graduation, I have joined my first professional dance company and I am ecstatic.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

New in Town

A lot of life has happened in the months since my last post. The passion that I felt when I wrote last is still strong and has traveled across the country with me.

My wonderfully talented husband, Mark, was hired on the spot at an audition and so our journey has taken us to Orlando, FL. Making the adjustment from the hustle of city life in Chicago to the slow and laid back attitude of Florida has been hard. The beautiful sunshine and ample space to move has helped ease the pain! 

My attitude shift from January has carried over and the mistakes I made upon my arrival in Chicago will not be repeated in Orlando. I am diving into the dance scene at full speed, seeking the best classes and scoping out all of the upcoming auditions. I am still coming into myself, but I have a sense of peace with my decision to pursue dance that I haven't felt in a long time. That alone makes this stressful move across the country completely worth it.

Who knows how long Florida will hold us hostage. Life is an adventure and I am finally ready to be wide awake for it all.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Passion and Honesty

Dance has been my life. I have literally spent over half of my short time on this earth studying and perfecting a relentless art form. My friends and family became those that I danced with. Dance became my way of coping and making sense of this world. Movement was therapy and expression. Moving was my language. I spent 4 years in college dancing for hours a day and thinking about little else.

I don’t know if it was all of the life changes that came at once(a marriage, graduation and a cross-country move) or if it was the constant pressure of dancing while making all of these huge life decisions. I got burnt out. BAD. Shame, anger, and frustration followed.

Post graduation was what I spent all of my time for the last 15 years working towards. GOING PRO!!! All of a sudden, I didn’t care. I lost my way and in a sense, I lost my identity. I got sick of explaining what my plans were and what I had lined up. I needed rest. Then I felt guilty like I couldn’t handle it or work hard enough. I felt guilty that my love for dance couldn’t live up to everyone else’s love for dance.

My passion waned and I was angry. Maybe I didn’t want my life to revolve around dance. Maybe I wanted to be defined by a different set of skills. Maybe I was meant to do something else with my life.

Then comes the depression part. Add to that stress and about 20 pounds. Who am I? What do I want? What happened to the driven, motivated girl who was ready to audition and dance? She got lost and discouraged. What made it all worse was the feeling that I somehow no longer had the right to call myself a dancer. Like it was somehow totally in the past and I would never again rise up to meet the level that I once was at.

I am not sure when it all clicked together. Maybe it was when I was taking the 20th career aptitude test or when I imagined yet another path I could go down. I got my degree in dance for a reason. I knew when I was thirteen what would make me happier than anything else in the world. Dancing. I have ignored it for too long.

I agreed to a project and went to a rehearsal for the first time since the New Year. It has been an embarrassingly long time since my last dance class. I gave the rehearsal my all and I was feeling the pain of slacking for so long. BUT, I was feeding a part of my soul that I had forced down so far. For months I have ignored all things dance because I couldn’t cope with my feelings.

Maybe I needed to break up with my biggest passion so that I could come back to it with a renewed sense of love and purpose. I realized at this first rehearsal in forever that dance makes my world make sense. It will always be my first language and my greatest love affair. Without dance, the world is just too big and vicious to deal with.

I have hardly come across a dancer who didn’t express their undying love for dance. They all just LIVE to dance. I made the mistake of letting them make me feel inferior for questioning my relationship with the art. “If I were truly passionate about this art form, I wouldn’t be feeling this much anger and anxiety about it”, and, “I must not love dancing as much as others”.

Well, I woke up and realized that my relationship with dance is a personal thing. I needed a “trial separation” from what was dominating my life and I took it and the consequences that it came with.

As I write this, I feel an overwhelming sense of hope and emotion. Maybe I have found it again. I am still a dancer and 6 months off hasn’t changed that. I have hard work ahead to get back to where I need to be, but dancing has always been and will always be the hardest work with or without time off. Passions and love affairs will always wax and wane. It is a part of life and we are all here just trying to figure shit out.

I have found my music again and I have found my voice and in this moment, all I want to do is dance and move. That is a sign that my own personal cosmos is aligning once again and it feels so good I can hardly stand it.

When it all makes sense. When everything aligns. When a song brings tears to my eyes and I feel an overwhelming urge to MOVE and dance. When I read the most beautiful love story. When I see a movie that makes me laugh. When I hear a speech that changes the world. When I feel so much passion and love that it gets caught in my throat and throbs in my chest. When I feel inspiration that takes all words away. When I see genius in all of its many shapes and forms…. somehow waking up tomorrow seems brighter and even if it is only for a moment, I have a renewed hope in people and life. Who knows why we are here…. and who cares at the end of it all when life is filled with so much wonder and amazement. These moments are enough to make it all worthwhile.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Dance Chicago

I have lived in Chicago for 5 months and at this point the goal is to just keep dancing. These last two weeks I have both performed in and choreographed for Dance Chicago. Being onstage just feels so good. I was happy to put my work in front of people.

Life changes after college where you go from dancing all day to trying to scrape by with a few classes. I am still in the process of redefining dance in my life. I want to keep creating and performing, but I also think that I need to step back and let a few things fall into place.

Dance Chicago is over and now I have one more performance in December. Then I will take some time for myself to enjoy the holidays and let my ideas simmer.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


Life post grad is difficult for a dancer. The only way to get work is to keep your technique up by taking classes, but you don't have money to take those classes and the cycle continues. Without dance in my life, I lose sight of my goals. It is as if dancing provides the clarity that I need to see the things most important to me.

Tomorrow I am auditioning for a tuition assisted program at a studio near my apartment. I am hoping that this audition goes well and I am able to plug into the dance community here in Chicago. If it doesn't go well, at least I get to take two classes for free. A win/win situation!

I am trying to keep my head up through an unstable and trying part of my career. Forward is the only way to go!

Monday, June 27, 2011

The Second City

I have successfully moved 700 miles away from home to chase my dreams! These last few weeks are a blur. I spent most of my time in rehearsal for the Jeremy Clawson Memorial Concert. That was a joy to work on and I was happy to be performing up until my very last day in town.

Now I embark on a new journey in a brand new place. I am looking forward to taking class and exploring the opportunities that this city has to offer. I am feeling anxious, nervous, and excited. It is a strange feeling to not know where you are going next. I just have to put my feet down and start dancing! My new chapter starts here in Chicago!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Make Mistakes

I am rehearsing for a show that goes up in less than three weeks. The choreographer is new to me and the other dancers in the company have been around for a while. I have that feeling where everyone else seems to understand the choreographer’s movement language and I am just trying in vain to translate everything. It feels as if I look like I am speaking a whole different dialect with my body.

SO the conclusion that I have come to is that I just need to go for it. By being so worried about making a mistake and not moving the “right way” I am holding myself back. Maybe if I throw my entire body into the movement, I will learn the language quicker while also being able to express my individuality.

It is a daunting thing to be thrown into someone else’s choreography AND be the only “newbie” of the group. It is a challenge that will hopefully be rewarding in the end. I shouldn’t be afraid of making mistakes along the way. That is just a part of the rehearsal process.