Inspiration: Shaun Evaristo

My first time attending an urban dance camp was Beat Camp in Croatia 2015. I did not know what to expect. All I knew was I wanted to dance as much as possible. We danced on average 7-8 hours a day. I am sure I was the oldest student there. One of the teachers was  Shaun Evaristo.

We met at a bar event the evening before his class and he asked me how old I was, what made me come to Beatcamp,  and did I knew any of the teachers? I told him my age, and that I had no clue who anyone was; I was just along for the ride because I love to dance.

The next day he taught a workshop. Usually teachers will pick students who are extremely good to perform their choreos after a class.  I was used to being bypassed and feeling invisible. When it was time to pick a few students to perform in front of the 200 or so others, Shaun came up to me and held out his hand. I stared at him terrified.

“I can’t! ” I whispered.
“Yes you can” he said,
“No, I’ll screw the choreo up”.
“It’s not about that”, he replied.

Nothing like baptism by fire!

He told the group  that I was an inspiration. “I want to be like this woman here. I hope I will keep dancing just like her!” Everyone applauded.  I felt so honored. I danced. I cried afterwards because it was such a release to feel I was okay with where I’m at in life.  (It was also such a relief that I remembered the choreo!) I’ve always been a late bloomer and  a bit of an oddity. His validation of my efforts helped me feel accepted and that I have something to offer as a dancer. This is an identity I can own, limitations  and all. Sometimes people are angels giving us just what we need to find strength to pursue our authenticity.

Take Away: In the spiritual realm, it is our intention that shines, not our technique.

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