A painter has a canvas, a musician, an instrument, an athlete, a ball or a puck, but a dancer? Dancers have their own bodies. Living, breathing art.
Dancers have nothing to hide behind, what they do is a pure expression of themselves – just people and their movements on a stage. Their work is fleeting, it passes through time and exists in the present – a dance cannot be captured fully, just as a portrait photograph is only a fragment of a breathing, human being. Dancers expose themselves to the world, placing their very identity in a most vulnerable position under the world’s eyes. And yet they are powerful, a celebration of human strength and artistry. Maybe that is why dance strikes a chord in nearly everyone, because there is such depth and sincerity in what can be expressed through the human body.
Ah, but with the pride of a dancer comes a challenge. A body changes, a person changes, and your work along with it. Every day a new balance must be found, muscle memory joggled, flexibility and stamina renewed. One day my pointe shoes are a size 4 1/2 the next day a 5. I can feel the backs of my legs engaging to solidify my ankle alignment, and in the future I may have trouble finding the same sensation. The body is very capable of adapting to situations dancers put them through, but sometimes it needs help in concentration and discipline to reach the perfection that all dancers envision in their dreams. It is a constant journey to discover the utmost potential of our bodies and the truest artists we can possibly be to ourselves. My ballet teacher taught me that. I feel very privileged to be a part of this art form for sharing the simplest joy of expressing myself through myself, as myself, in ways that words cannot explain.
“Dance is the hidden language of the soul.” -Martha Graham
Read, dance, and don’t forget to smile,