We've been candid about the things dancers experience.Irritating moments, social media theatrics, the ins and outs of a dancer-relationship – the list goes on!
But why? Why do we do all this? Does it make you happy? Do you find joy as a dancer in our community? It's unrealistic to be happy and satisfied all the time, but there is a key to make that joy more accessible. Happiness – in any situation – is born from the gentle power of gratitude. Millionaire or beggar, wildly successful dancer or struggling beginner, "perfect" times and less ideal times are defined not by what you have, but by your attitude towards the situation. So, with Thanksgiving and the holiday season approaching, let's embrace the attitude.. of gratitude!This Thanksgiving,
Everyone, no matter how self-assured they seem, has a silent, internal civil war about their identity, self-worth, and value.Immersing myself in dance brings me back into my body – as someone here, present, alive, and worth while. As someone to witness, support, and share with. I'm here, moving, and moving those around me.
Whether it be a dance team, project, studio, group of friends you jam with, those who share your passion become your second family. See Related Article: If Your Dance Team Was A Woman…This Is How She Would Make You Feel They're the ones you look forward to seeing after a long day, the ones you can talk to about anything, dance-related or not. They're the ones who encourage you to be daring and keep you safe when you're vulnerable. They're the ones, through group texts or Facebook notifications, make you feel less lonely even when you're alone. They're the ones you feel incomplete without hugging hello and goodbye. See Related Article: Why Your Dance Team Is The Perfect Significant Other They're the ones who may not be blood-related, but would still defend and love you like you're connected by DNA.
The confines of your every day, even if you don't work a stiff 9-5, are still suffocating when compared to how free dancing feels. I'm thankful for the safe space where I can let go of all else and be myself. The luxury of self-expression should never be taken for granted, as any art form. Art is a gift. And dance gifts me with the freedom to create, to express, to be. See Related Article: Why It’s More Important For Dance To FEEL Good, Than Look Good
Beyond my immediate second family, I'm thankful to be part of such a powerful world-wide movement. Dance is becoming more legitimized in the commercial world, which is refreshing and awesome, but... we've always been here. I'm thankful to have such a uniting common denominator with anyone who shares the passion for dance. I know that strangers who are continents and cultures away feel something similar to me when I move. And this shared love turns the universe into a network of understanding and appreciation. See Related Article: The Evolution Of Our Global Dance Community
Sometimes, my mind feels like a hurricane. But the walls of a studio takes me to another realm. Maybe it comes with its own set of stresses and problems. But it's a sacred place where my brain can calm down and let my body take over.
In all the years of dancing, there is no single, grand moment that I can attribute all my happiness to.I'm thankful for the car rides. The silly photos. The collection of lanyards on my wall. The intimate conversations. The freestyle sessions that were never recorded or broadcasted. The fattening meals after practice.I'm thankful being a humble collector of the snippets, the flashes, the mental memorabilia that I recall in times of distress or loneliness, and instantly make me grin. See Related Article: 24 Small Pleasures Only Dancers Would Know
Whether you're on deck and doing your last-second crunches, on stage during the climax of the finale, before you're about to perform your piece for choreo day, about to head to a new studio to teach a class, meeting someone you've looked up to for a while, anxious about releasing a new video...These moments of excitement, those healthy doses of anticipation and nervousness – they only exist because something great is about to happen.I'm thankful for those butterflies that make this long-time love for dance feel like a middle school crush all over again. See Related Article: A True Dancer Love Story We All Know Too Well (Written by Happiness Is NOW)
A reminder that I put in work last night, something I complain about with satisfaction.
Dance is an art, but it's also an industry. It teaches you practical logistics of the world around you.I'm thankful for the ways I've grown from lessons learned in dance – in leadership, communication, marketing, videography, writing, even small-talk skills.I've become a better person by striving to be a better dancer. See Related Article: 7 Ways Being A Dancer Can Help You In A Job Interview
The many roles I've been put in along the way. As a mentor, a "big buddy," a marketer, an ambassador, front and center or back left corner, personal cheerleader, instructor, studio secretary, financial head, emcee, events coordinator..I'm thankful for the hats I get to wear, through dance. See Related Article: How YouTube Gives Artists The Freedom To Showcase Their Work
Repping team shirts, costumes, bringing it in after a practice to chant in unison. I'm thankful for the joy we feel in showing each other off.
The audience –"oohing" and "aahing," screaming their lungs out, or dead silent from anticipation.We dance for ourselves first, but hearing that validation and applause gives any dancer a performance-high that makes them crave the stage. (Even our own teammates screaming from the wings – thank you!) See Related Aeticle: As Dancers, Why Are We Addicted To Performing?
Dance will never be a "been there, seen that" thing because the community keeps innovating. This keeps the world (and ourselves) on our toes. Every time I see my favorite dancers or a beautiful video, I feel physical, literal chills. Movement will never cease to impress me as dancers' approach to it only keeps growing more goosebump-inducing.
Beyond these moments in dance, there are many other things we're thankful for here at STEEZY.
We're thankful for the immense support the community has shown us in the past two and a half years. We're thankful for your readership and appreciation. We're thankful for our STEEZY Studio instructors, assistants, and students. We're thankful for Facebook shares, Instagram likes and Re-tweets. We're thankful for the choreographers who are hungry to innovate and create. We're thankful for the beginners who discover this spark and chase it with vigor.We're thankful for every single person who has shared this journey with us thus far. We're thankful for our friends and family who support our mission and understand the sacrifices we make to work toward it. And above all else, we're thankful for the bright future that we believe lies ahead.
Did any of these things resonate with you? Or, what are you thankful for this holiday season? Comment below and share with us! This Article Was Originally Published On November 18, 2015.