The sun is barely awake but the shrill sound of my alarm is assaulting my slumber. My eyes are tired, but my heart is inundated. My world is suddenly filled with a wispy morning holding on to the promise of magic. My makeup brushes transform me into a being that can be seen from the back of any auditorium. Everything comes together; seeing team mates, playing your music over and over, stretching in cramped hallways and having team heart to hearts in secluded stairwells. All the nuances of a life art: the smell of hairspray engulfing a dressing room, the heat radiating off the metal lighting stands backstage, the littlest things give me the shivers because they just let me know that I’m home. It is bliss and adrenaline and the closest thing to pure magic I will ever get.
The one thing in this world that can pick me up and take me so far away, and that can pull me right back down to earth in an instant, is also the one thing that can make me forget about everything, can make me realize exactly why I’m alive. Moreover, this one thing that seems so small is absolutely monumental. It is not something I do. It is something I am. It is a part of me, woven into my identity like it has been there forever. It shines bright amidst all the challenges I have put in front of myself. It’s the one thing that makes me think, “This life thing? Yeah, maybe it isn’t going to be so tough.” I am not a religious or spiritual person, by any means; however, if there’s one thing I believe completely, utterly, and without a shadow of a doubt, it’s that I was put on this earth to dance.
Nothing can touch me when I’m in my element, creating art. I was made to tell stories with movement. Human beings thrive on emotion and my consciousness of existence as a human being is painfully obvious. I need creative expression to survive. Nothing else in the world can compare to the way my soul feels art. One single movement can say more than an entire book. Evoking emotion through dance is such an addictive and electrifying experience. Looking out after a piece and seeing one person wiping a tear from their cheek or one person with the ghost of a smile still on their face, lets me know I’ve done something right. That split second before the applause when you have everyone in the room silent after a performance, is sublime.
There’s the calming, intoxicating mindset that I effortlessly slip into whenever I’m dancing. Nothing will ever make me feel the way dance makes me feel. It’s my raison d'être. It’s gotten me through horrible times, and deaths, and moments of crippling self-hatred and doubt. Comparatively, I’ve danced through happy times and amazing days with a huge smile on my face. It’s always there. It is forever. It’s always been forever. Before I realized it was forever, it was thriving in my heart, waiting to be the driving force behind everything in my life, every single day, for the rest of my existence. Dance is so deeply rooted within me; in my blood and my tears and my skin and my bones. Dance is my backbone.