"I believe part of the process of figuring yourself out is a way of connecting the dots between the fabulous and influential people all around us- you only need to know where to look." AO-
Some places have stories. They have memories and dreams, legacies and pieces of your heart adorned to them like an over crowded Girl Scout's sash.
Here is the most beautiful truth I know: There is no greater feeling than to be able to walk into a place and have the stories flood back to you. The Memories Ask You To Dance And You Are Home.
It is those places where we grow up, on the soccer field, our second grade classroom, the home of our grandparents. These places of our childhood stick to us, and though the glue has dried we continue to be held together.
If I wish to hold true to myself and really pour my heart and soul into this blog then there is a group of individuals, a place that has defined me that I must recognize: The Dancer's Studio
Life is full of meeting people, some faces we will never be able to trace from a crowd again but some remarkable stars that will teach us how to live life; they give us the strength to believe in ourselves and dare to let the world hear our voice.
I grew up at a dance barre.
Amidst the lessons of how to perform a shuffle or Cincinnati, how to spot when turning and how not to "sickle" my feet, I was learning more important lessons about passion, the importance of being an individual in this cookie cutter world, overcoming fears and accepting flaws.
I always knew that I was not the best dancer in the room. No matter the practice I put myself through outside the classroom I never came back to the dance barre being able to take the new steps with stride. But as my teachers taught me- you do not need to be the best at something to love it deeply. If You Love Something Deeply Trust Yourself To Let It Show.
I grew up with stars too bright for Broadway.
I am a firm believer that when you stumble across people who inspire you to be better then you should always let them know. So here it is, to all those who have one time or another stood next to me at the ballet barre, or laughed with me in the waiting room. To all those who helped me with my make-up or cheered me on the from the tuckings of the stage curtain. You made me into the person I am today. I smile a little wider because I know you. I outstretch my hands a little father because I know you. I believe more fully in myself because I know you.
Some of these beautiful individuals will one day have a name in lights or a star on their dressing room door. They deserve this at least. All of these wonderful people deserve every dream they pin their heart to and it gives me the greatest of honor just to say that I know them.
I grew up.
A bold statement on my part since I constantly believe I am growing with each day. But I can look at those 15 years spent at the studio, no matter its present location, and be able to point at certain moments and say, "That is where I first understood." "That is where I wanted to give up but didn't." "That is where I grew up."
I watched myself transform from a shy little girl who could barely reach the barre to an independent young lady who was determined to make her life shine brighter than the sequins on her head piece. I need only look at the people of the Dancer's Studio, from Sharon & the teachers, Chelsea & my classmates, Mara & and my younger students, to know that my definition of "growing up" has been made absolutely perfect through them.
A part of growing up, as I have said before, is moving forward and parts of our past right there, in the past. But not a day goes by where I do not smile at the thought of how I learned my way in this world: in a place where we magically took dance lessons far past any sound that could come from a tap shoe.