I took a workshop with the incredible Diana Matos .
A few minutes into class, it was clear I was way in over my head. My brain was toast. There are times in life where I have been told to sit it out-but never in dance! Dancers don’t think like that. Like me, if they are hungry, they fight. I like that mentality. You fight for a choreo, you catch what you can and you push through. So I did. I went home exhausted and disheartened. I felt that there is no way I can ever live long enough to reach that level. As a musician, I know the nuances of the struggle, the blood, sweat and tears that go into craft. There are never shortcuts. The years of endless practice, technique, stamina, flexibility…I’ll need two lifetimes to learn a Diana Matos choreo.
Turns out, maybe it is enough that I do my best with the lifetime I have. The next day, a dance friend sent me this photo.
I had no idea what it was. My friend explained that Diana had posted a photo of me with this caption in her Instagram Story. I was touched that, in a room of so many great dancers, she found something positive about me flailing around completely off-beat. I think she recognized my spirit.
We all want to be “seen”; have our soul recognized, have someone who bears witness. When we are seen, we become more generous. I believe dance (like life) must come from a place of generosity and gratitude. If a great dancer compliments me, it is a tremendous encouragement to become a better. I always try to dance from a place of gratitude. The secret to grow up to be like me is to stay a kid at heart. When I put on my dance shoes, it is my ritual to enter the magic kingdom and play.
My take away: You never know who is watching.