What's Your 'Why' As A Dancer?

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What's Your 'Why' As A Dancer?

Alyssa De Guzman
January 23, 2024
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Why do you dance? You may have a crap load of answers running through your head or you may have none at all. Your answer may have changed throughout the time you have grown as a dancer or it may have remained the same. We all have our own reasons for wanting to dance; there is no right or wrong. I wanted to get in the minds of other dancers and hear their answers. I wanted to see how alike, and how different they could be. I asked 16 members of Project D Dance Company what moves them and this is what they had to say:

“Everyone in this world has a way to escape reality even for the smallest of moments. I'm so lucky to have found my escape at such a young age and I never had the heart to let it go since then. Why? Because dance is such an open book. It has no limitations. There is never a time when you're the "perfect dancer". There is always room for growth. There is always something you don't know. There's never a dull moment, especially when you get to share your knowledge with people who are just as passionate. Dance is like an endless hallway of doors. Even when you open one, there will always be another waiting to be discovered. That's the adventure of dancing. That's my escape.”- Regina Lustre
“To be honest, I didn’t have a reason to start dancing because I didn’t need a reason to. It’s something anyone can do so I decided to give it a try. It wasn’t until later that I realized that I dance to impress myself, like, “Wow, I didn’t know I was capable of that.”- Jillian Lacap
“I dance because it’s fun. It just feels natural, like second nature to me. I’m moved because I feel like it’s something God called me to do.”- Ian Urbina
“I started dancing because I’ve always thought it was cool. Dancing just makes me feel special which was hard for me when I was growing up. A few years later, I kept dancing because of the encouragement I got and it helped me find out who I really am.- Rachelle Canilao
“Throughout the seasons I’ve been dancing alongside my team, their growth and constant hunger motivates me to keep going. Participating in competitions and seeing different individuals come together on one stage performing with all their hearts, triggers something within me to reach for more and to hopefully inspire those around me.This deeper feeling, this connection, and this experience really does move me.”- Rachelle Romero
“I dance to take away stress, but I also do it to be with people who share the same passion as I do”- Summer Lacuin
“To express through movement when words were just not enough.”- Ryan Zeng
“My reason for dancing actually comes in two parts. One being that dancing gives me a medium to open myself up and tell a story to an audience in ways that I can’t express through everyday conversation. And the second reason is for my mom because throughdance I feel as if even though she’s not with me, I know she’s proud to see me working at something that is my passion.”- Widner Lafontant
"What moves me everyday is my company as a whole - Project D and Defined Movement. They inspire me every day to keep doing what I love doing. Part of Project D’s credo is to inspire individuals to move as one. To me it's more than the dance, but as a family and as a unit, but dancing is definitely the topping on the cake. The chemistry on the team and how this team makes me feel that love every day that moves me. Dancing is my healthy addiction and it's something that's never failed me before. As a director nothing makes feel more blessed and happy to see my team’s growth. That feeling is worth more than any trophy to be honest.”- Marie Damaso
“It's so difficult to explain why I dance or what moves me when it's just such a natural thing to me. Dancing to me is just like breathing. It's something my body needs, something I do without thinking, it's just become such a big part of who I am that without, I’d feel so empty inside.”- Eric Delgado
“What moves me is that in dance, at any time, the underdog can surprise you. the stage, your team, the art - it will always give you a second chance, no matter who you are or where you come from. as long as you're genuine and passionate, it means something. In life, there's so little that we can control. But dance is something we can have to ourselves while at the same time sharing it with a community, and that's such a rarity, it shifts from a "want" into a "need" and changes us inside and out. “- Alexis Bolisay
“The reason I started dancing was because it was around the time when I lost my mom. When I started dancing, originally it was for me to make friends because it was something my mom stressed before she left, but it ended up being so much more; it was my outlet. It provided me with passion and emotion that I never thought I could feel again. It provided me with a network of friends I never thought I could have who I now consider my family. Dancing was the best thing that could have happened for mementally and physically.”- Linda Kim
“Dance is the only thing that has accepted me for who I am. I can't hide anything from dancing. It knows me better than I know myself.”- Daah Rensalier
“I dance is because it allows me to escape reality and express myself in my own way.”- Erin Mercado
“Movement is like the gentle flow of a ball-point pen against a sheet of paper, and I love presenting my anomalous stories to all willing to listen. I've realized that I can express all of my problems and release all of my negative energy through dancing. It has sculpted me as a person in ways nothing else ever will. Being inspired by other dancers gives me such aesthetic pleasure and reminds me that this form of positivity is nothing to take for granted because it is truly a blessing. So, why do I dance? Because it is more than just a hobby. It's a passion-filled way of life that has blossomed throughout my existence and it's simply impossible for me to let it go.”- Tyra Jones-Blain
“Everything moves me, literally. Nature, music, movies, experiences. Anything tangible or relatable that can be portrayed through movement. I dance because I can, like I see people who have strict parents, or don't have the outlet to dance like a studio or class environment. Or simply for the people who physically are incapable of dancing. I want everyone who doesn't have the opportunity to dance, for whatever reason, to live vicariously through me.”- Edson Maldonado

Shoutout to the pdfambam for being great and letting me interview them and a happy 10 years to the company! And a very special shoutout to one of my biggest inspirations on the team, Edson Maldonado! Thank you so much for inspiring me to write this and for always teaching me something because I always get so much from you.What’s your 'why'? Share it with the community by commenting below! A similar outlook can be applied to becoming a better choreographer and workshop teacher - check out how to become one here!