Vulnerability: A Blessing, Not A Curse
Start writing a post

I consider myself a sensitive person by nature. I cry often, I care a little too much, and I take things to heart. As a Disney Princess I would be okay, but I grew up believing that expressing my emotions too often was frowned upon. I was never afraid to be myself, but I knew that not many people cared to see my incessantly caring personality. I subconciously carried this concept into the dance studio, where for some reason I thought stoicism was valued over vulnerability. I would only use facial expressions when running a piece and of course when preforming. No one else put emotion into the rest of class, so why should I dare to be different?

The summer before I started college, I went to Forge Summer Dance Intensive at Slippery Rock University, where I met Duane Lee Holland Jr., an inspiring faculty member who changed my life when he told me that vulnerability is a strength. I questioned how this could be, and he explained that if I don’t allow myself to be vulnerable, then opportunities and blessings will pass me by. “Don’t ever doubt yourself. You are so blessed,” he told me on the last day of the intensive. It's so hard, but to this day I still try to follow his advice.

This past fall presented opportunities and blessings in the form of my first auditions for Slippery Rock University Dance Theatre, or SRUDT for short. Dance majors and minors sat in the West Gym dance studio for the showing, as we watched juniors, seniors, and super seniors explain their pieces and demonstrate their audition phrase for us. One of whom was Darrin Mosely, a senior choreographing a piece about depression. After hearing his story and watching his audition phrase, I was inspired to audition for him. When the showing was over, we dancers had the opportunity to meet the choreographers and sign up for their auditions. I introduced myself to Darrin, and I don't know if this helped or hurt my chances of dancing for him, but I revealed that I had depression in the past. His audition came and went, and by the grace of God he chose me to dance for him along with nine other dancers. I saw this as my opportunity to learn how to dance vulnerably.

Learning to be vulnerable was challenging at first considering that twice a week I was learning some emotionally exhausting choreography with dancers that were strangers to me at the time, but after I broke down crying in the middle of a rehearsal, I stood up a stronger dancer. With each rehearsal I was able to put more and more of my heart into the choreography. As a cast we became a supportive and loving family, ready and willing to catch each other when we fall. Darrin’s piece, titled De-Press, Re-Press, Press Up not only helped me be at peace with a dark part of my past, but also helped me live a brighter present. When we performed the piece at the Adjudication Concert and the Fall Concert, our movement inspired the audience and showed them that they are never alone.

This opportunity and blessing would have passed me by had I not decided to be vulnerable at the audition, the performances, and every rehearsal in between, so Duane's words were proven true. Wearing your heart on your sleeve isn’t always easy, but it's worth the blessings you will receive.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Health and Wellness

Exposing Kids To Nature Is The Best Way To Get Their Creative Juices Flowing

Constantly introducing young children to the magical works of nature will further increase the willingness to engage in playful activities as well as broaden their interactions with their peers

1236411

Whenever you are feeling low and anxious, just simply GO OUTSIDE and embrace nature! According to a new research study published in Frontiers in Psychology, being connected to nature and physically touching animals and flowers enable children to be happier and altruistic in nature. Not only does nature exert a bountiful force on adults, but it also serves as a therapeutic antidote to children, especially during their developmental years.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

5 Simple Ways To Give Yourself Grace, Especially When Life Gets Hard

Grace begins with a simple awareness of who we are and who we are becoming.

775677
Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

If there's one thing I'm absolutely terrible at, it's giving myself grace. I'm easily my own worst critic in almost everything that I do. I'm a raging perfectionist, and I have unrealistic expectations for myself at times. I can remember simple errors I made years ago, and I still hold on to them. The biggest thing I'm trying to work on is giving myself grace. I've realized that when I don't give myself grace, I miss out on being human. Even more so, I've realized that in order to give grace to others, I need to learn how to give grace to myself, too. So often, we let perfection dominate our lives without even realizing it. I've decided to change that in my own life, and I hope you'll consider doing that, too. Grace begins with a simple awareness of who we are and who we're becoming. As you read through these five affirmations and ways to give yourself grace, I hope you'll take them in. Read them. Write them down. Think about them. Most of all, I hope you'll use them to encourage yourself and realize that you are never alone and you always have the power to change your story.

Keep Reading... Show less
Entertainment

Breaking Down The Beginning, Middle, And End of Netflix's Newest 'To All The Boys' Movie

Noah Centineo and Lana Condor are back with the third and final installment of the "To All The Boys I've Loved Before" series

773854
Netflix

Were all teenagers and twenty-somethings bingeing the latest "To All The Boys: Always and Forever" last night with all of their friends on their basement TV? Nope? Just me? Oh, how I doubt that.

I have been excited for this movie ever since I saw the NYC skyline in the trailer that was released earlier this year. I'm a sucker for any movie or TV show that takes place in the Big Apple.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

4 Ways To Own Your Story, Because Every Bit Of It Is Worth Celebrating

I hope that you don't let your current chapter stop you from pursuing the rest of your story.

499871
Photo by Manny Moreno on Unsplash

Every single one of us has a story.

I don't say that to be cliché. I don't say that to give you a false sense of encouragement. I say that to be honest. I say that to be real.

Keep Reading... Show less
Politics and Activism

How Young Feminists Can Understand And Subvert The Internalized Male Gaze

Women's self-commodification, applied through oppression and permission, is an elusive yet sexist characteristic of a laissez-faire society, where women solely exist to be consumed. (P.S. justice for Megan Fox)

310440
Paramount Pictures

Within various theories of social science and visual media, academics present the male gaze as a nebulous idea during their headache-inducing meta-discussions. However, the internalized male gaze is a reality, which is present to most people who identify as women. As we mature, we experience realizations of the perpetual male gaze.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

It's Important To Remind Yourself To Be Open-Minded And Embrace All Life Has To Offer

Why should you be open-minded when it is so easy to be close-minded?

446754

Open-mindedness. It is something we all need a reminder of some days. Whether it's in regards to politics, religion, everyday life, or rarities in life, it is crucial to be open-minded. I want to encourage everyone to look at something with an unbiased and unfazed point of view. I oftentimes struggle with this myself.

Keep Reading... Show less
Swoon

14 Last Minute Valentine's Day Gifts Your S.O. Will Love

If they love you, they're not going to care if you didn't get them some expensive diamond necklace or Rolex watch; they just want you.

301748

Let me preface this by saying I am not a bad girlfriend.

I am simply a forgetful one.

Keep Reading... Show less
Student Life

10 Helpful Tips For College Students Taking Online Courses This Semester

Here are several ways to easily pass an online course.

203187
Photo by Vlada Karpovich on Pexels

With spring semester starting, many college students are looking to take courses for the semester. With the pandemic still ongoing, many students are likely looking for the option to take online courses.

Online courses at one time may have seemed like a last minute option for many students, but with the pandemic, they have become more necessary. Online courses can be very different from taking an on-campus course. You may be wondering what the best way to successfully complete an online course is. So, here are 10 helpful tips for any student who is planning on taking online courses this semester!

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments