Sunday, September 28, 2008
DanceMind: Dear Janie: let's talk about dance --
Dance is an everyday experience. When you are not dancing you thinking about choreography, roles, previous performances, improving turns, class last week, dreams, conversations ... Dance maintains a steady presence in your life. It fills you. You have to dance.
I am continually amazed by the number of strangers, friends and family who are fascinated by my daughter's dance career. (she is a professional ballet dancer.) ( I think sometimes people feel obligated to ask "Where is your son/daughter at college?") Rather than the usual response of 'she is at such and such of college' I watch their eyes brighten and notice a rise of interest that draws more questions about her career path, her work ethic and discipline, her determination. People are drawn into the story, want to hear about her dancing.
It is awe inspiring for me to speak of her.
Yet there is another aspect to this friendly discussion that is worth mentioning.
I wonder how many people are really living their dreams. Following their passion. Filling their moments with what inspires them. Sharing their gifts with others. Feeling juiced about what they do. get excited talking about what they do ...
It is almost as if they (strangers, friends and family) live vicariously thru her in that moment, as they listen to the story of dedication, of commitment about someone who followed (insisted on) her dream of becoming a ballet dancer. There is elation and admiration for her, a 'good for her' cheer. yet I detect a hint of personal resignation.
Often times there is an addendum to the conversation, "Yeah, I wanted to be a musician, an artist .... a designer ... a potter ... a writer ....
I often hear of those who regret not pursuing a career in the arts because of family demands or ideas of living a life of poverty, or something or someone that steered them toward 'sensible' work. Maybe they gave it up or pushed it aside. Years later, the suppressed creativity surfaces as a depression or deep sadness or loss and regret.
I could not imagine suppressing my daughter's passion for ballet. I could see it in her eyes. I watch her take class even when she was not feeling well, or in lieu of socializing. I see her taking care of herself to dance her best. I sat with her while she sewed her shoes. Helped her through very dark moments. Applauded her triumphs. Comforted her when she was not selected as a dream fairy (age 11).
How could I have selfishly stopped her quest when her effort was so great. That energy cannot be contained. It must be expressed.
Little did I know that her story may possibly give others a message of hope to follow their own dreams, no matter what age.
Mark is one such story that draws attention.
Mark is 53. He started taking ballet 4 years ago. A professional man, his family and friends are shaking their heads, "Mark, what are you doing? Why are you dancing? Are you crazy?"
He is passionate, loves the feel of ballet movements thru his body and is determined to perform one performance. I am so inspired by him, my daughter, "Janie," and all of you who persist. Dance - you have to.
"I can't imagine not dancing. It is my life." Spoken by a dancer just like you ---
Sanna Carapellotti, MS CHT
Performance Specialist and Hypnotherapist