I’ve always struggled with being vulnerable and arguably it has translated into my artistry as a dancer. Thanks to NC Underground Dance, I had the opportunity to go back to my foundation and teach contemporary dance on a weekly basis ❤️. Teaching contemporary regularly reminded me how important it is to connect to the music. While I was choreographing, I let the music to lead me. I didn’t think about “steps.” I just internalized the emotion in the song which organically translated into movement.
During this time, I took class from several people I had never taken before. Everyone talked about how dancing is really connecting the emotions within the song to movement, and without that we have to question if we’re really dancing. This spoke to my soul. I felt like I had started stressing so much about learning the combo perfectly and working on all the things I need to improve that I wasn’t really dancing.
With these experiences, I decided that the next time I took class I would really internalize the music and not focus so much on getting the steps perfectly. I also chose to focus on one particular improvement for each class i.e., levels, strength, textures, etc. Let me just tell you… it was a liberating experience 🙌🏾. I found that even though I didn’t care so much about getting the steps, I actually learned them better. I was more focused, but I was having fun too. When I did miss a step, my recovery was so quick I even surprised myself.
Often when we’re passionate about something we want to be the best we can be. We respect our craft so much that it’s easy to lose sight of the reason why we love it so much. When I’m dancing, I feel ALIVE in every sense of the word. It rejuvenates me when I’m weary, it refocuses me when I’m frantic, it soothes me when I’m sad. How could I not give my best to something that gives so much to me? I’ve realized that allowing myself to be vulnerable and go to the places I’m afraid of is what defines me as a dancer even if that means messing up in front of everyone. No two people have the same exact experiences. That’s what makes us all unique. When we share an authentic piece of who we are through our movement we connect with everyone watching.
In summary, I’ll say this. Don’t be afraid of allowing yourself to be vulnerable as an artist. That vulnerability unveils the very essence of who you are. Share a piece of yourself through your artistry and people will respond in ways you couldn’t imagine ✨.