I love children and I love working with them, which is part of the reason why I wanted to be a dance teacher. Children possess some of the best attributes that adults fail to have. Children are not afraid to dream. I remember when I was a kid; all I wanted to do was dance. I dreamt of being a professional dancer/choreographer and traveling around the country doing what I loved. I did not have an older sibling at my dance studio to stand in the shadow of, nor did my mother claw and scratch to get me to the top; I worked hard for everything I got. However, once it was time to go away to school, I began to question what I was going to do in my life. I had doubts about going away to pursue my dream and I was afraid of what people would think of me for living my passion. Hesitantly, I ended up leaving for college to attend The Ohio State University. I joined the dance team to keep learning the art, but it felt like something was missing.
When I left school and came home, I felt whole again – dancing and teaching dance at the heart of where it all started for me. Growing up has always been a fear of mine, partially, because deciding who I want to be in life is hard!! After a couple of years passed by, I felt like I was stuck. I felt like I needed a change in my life, so I decided that I at least needed to finish what I started, which was going back to school. I made a tough decision to leave home and my dance studio, and put dancing behind me. I was excited to go back to school because I was getting a fresh start at a new college, Ohio University. However, my heart has never broken as much as it did the day I had to give my farewells to my mentors and students at an amazing dance studio that I call home. Is it possible to be so happy and so sad at the same time? Was I making the right decision?
I have never had such good grades in my life!! I have really beenexcelling academically and I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. I am graduating next spring with my Bachelor’sdegree in psychology and I couldn’t be more thrilled. However, the past few months, that feeling came back – somethingwasmissing. I thought to myself, “Again?! How can this be possible?!” But, then it dawned on me – I wasn’t dancing.
I recently auditioned for the TV show ‘So You Think You Can Dance’.Which is a huge step for me, because I would have never gone if it weren’t for my amazing dance teacher, who is my biggest inspiration, encouraging me and believing in me. When I got to the audition, a feeling hit me so strong that I could feel myself starting to tear up. I had been standing in line for hours in the cold and all of a sudden; I realized that everyone standing in that line was a dreamer. Every single person in that line believed in him/herself. They didn’t care that they weren’t a doctor, dentist, lawyer, etc.; they were dancers and they were proud. I didn’t need to go up to every person and ask why he or she was there, because a passion isn’t something that needs explaining – it is something that can only be felt. And, for the first time in a long time, I felt my passion again.
I am the first to believe in the person who cannot believe in him/herself. But, for some reason I cannot be confident and believe in my own self. Sometimes, I think this is why I am such a great motivator, because I know exactly where to reach into someone’s life and pull out of him or her what he or she has a hard time finding and believing. Why is it that when we are adults we quit dreaming?
Yes, it is important to get a degree and get a real job because that is being successful. But, it is just as, if not more, important to always follow your dream. To me, being successful means finding and living your passion, and inspiring others along the way. Just because we grow up doesn’t mean we stop dreaming or we change our dreams to be accepted by society. Do what you love and do it well; don’t let someone tell you what your dreams are. Although, I did not make it far in the SYTYCD audition process, I left there with my head held high because I found myself that day – I actually believed in myself. I made a promise to myself that day; I would finish yet another thing that I started – my dreams of dancing. Don’t quit something because you are afraid of what people might think of you, because at that point, you are the only person doubting yourself. So, go out on a limb, take a risk, dare yourself to block out all of the doubts and start doing what YOU love! Because, it is only then when we truly figure out who we are.
Where I will end up next – who knows. All I know is that my heart is finally starting to feel whole again and I am not giving up my dream the second time around. As Kelli would say, “Always dream big!!”
XOXO – A