Let me take you into my creative world for a second. When I first listen to a song, I don’t just hear words up against a pleasant melody, I hear a story. I hear the artist expressing their passion for their lover, their fear for the future, their call to action. I hear each beat, each pause, each breath and the more I listen to the song, the more I can visualize how I want my body to move to it.

When I dance, it isn’t just about making myself feel good, but rather portraying a feeling, a thought, an idea to the audience and making them feel moved by my performance.

I want the audience to feel the exact emotion evoked by the song and I want the different intricacies of the dance to help make the story something the audience is invested in.

I want the audience to be invested because my whole soul is invested in the story. The hours it takes to make a dance perfect is something that only dedicated dancers are familiar with. The amount of detail that goes into each movement from the pointing of my toes to the flick of my wrists to the expression on my face can be overwhelming at times.

However, the complexity of creating a dance is what I love so much about this art form. There is no right answer; there is no one way to tell a story or represent an emotion. The freedom you have as a performer to do what you feel is right is so liberating and at some points can almost become therapeutic.

In life, you don’t get to control how you might feel in a certain situation or how someone might interpret your behavior. However, in dance, you have control over it all and you are allowed to let your creativity run wild.

Thus, dance is so much more to me than just twirling around a stage; it has become my lifestyle. It is the way that I have learned to take my frustrations and sadness and excitement and channel it into something productive and cathartic. It is the way I choose to express my creativity with others and the way I wind down at the end of the night.

It is the one thing that has always been there for me and the one thing that never fails to make me feel better.

It has helped build me into the person that I am and has never failed to challenge me when I needed to learn a lesson.

Overall, being a dancer is who I am to my core and what makes my soul content. I don’t know who I would be without it; it will forever be the first thing I ever fell in love with and the best thing that has ever happened to me.