Over the course of my dance career, whether I was performing on stage or choreographing students of all different ages, I learned one common trait on both sides of this field: creativity takes courage.
We had our Spring Showcase this past May, and I spoke about the bravery it takes each dancer to perform. The audience could be as simple as their parents watching them while eating dinner at the kitchen table or a theater of 400, much like Sunday's show. The amount of courage it takes to get up on that stage and move is beyond even my own thought process.
I remember graduating college in 2002. I choreographed just a few dances at a local studio, and I was petrified that my little 3 year olds weren't going to even go on stage, let alone actually remember my choreography. The fear on my face as they entered the stage. I closed my eyes, held my breath, and prayed to whomever I believed in at that time that at least ONE would remember SOMETHING.
A few stood there on their X in first position with a HUGE smile.. and did nothing; one sat like a pretzel and shook her head "NO" when I tried to show her the steps from my seat; a few either waved to mom and dad or cried; only two actually remembered their dance.
As I sat there worried during their last few seconds of choreography, something strange happened (or at least I thought it was strange at the time): the entire audience gave my first time performers a standing ovation. They screamed, applauded, and jumped up and down with pure excitement. My little ballerinas smiled their biggest smiles as they did their bow and left the stage. That moment carried with me throughout my 20 years of teaching.
It doesn't matter if our dancers come out on stage with half their costumes, forgetting choreography, or maybe just a simple beautiful smile while they stand on their X in first position. There is beauty in knowing the courage it takes to be creative; the bravery to do what most fear; and the strength and confidence gained when they do.
I am proud of our studio for building this kind of encouragement because to us.. it's not about getting it right; it's about getting it done. :)
xoxo Miss Susie