... dance, fitness, food, health, life...

Monday, May 25, 2009

Will Smith explains how I feel

I'm at my BFF's house babysitting, as she and her hubby enjoy a date night out and I make a bit of extra cash for Chicago. I like to read her magazines while I'm here because they're ones I don't subscribe to - Real Simple, People Style Watch, Self - but tonight her hubby's Men's Health grabbed my attention.

Initially it was Ewan McGregor on the cover who caught my attention. Yes, he's cute, but I was curious about what the article with him was about. As I flipped through looking for the article, a different article distracted me and I stopped. It was about model turned rapper/actor Tyrese Gibson and how he turned his life around after gaining weight and becoming unhealthy. At the end, he quotes Will Smith, who was one of his positive mentors.

"You might have more talent than me, you might be smarter than me, you might be sexier than me, you might be all of those things. You got it on me in nine categories. But if we get on the treadmill together, there's two things: You're getting off first, or I'm gonna die. It's really that simple."

YES. Change the treadmill to the dance studio and you have me. As an "older student" coming to the dance world with no more than social and street dance under my belt, I have to work hard for what I want. I mean HARD. What I'm doing is not easy, physically, mentally or emotionally. I'm trying to learn what most of the girls have done since they were very young. Training a 28-year-old (when I started this adventure) body to do these things is quite a task. I understood this going into it, so I'm not complaining, just stating the reality.

My point is, I feel that because most of them have spent the majority of their lives dancing ballet, modern, jazz, etc., they take for granted what we learn and do in classes, rehearsals, auditions. They take for granted what they can do with little effort (or so it seems). It is as if they do it on autopilot because its all they know. Is the passionate conviction there for them? I'm not always convinced, and some days I'm very doubtful. Some days I want to point blank ask each girl, "WHY are you here? Really. Why?" I know why I'm there. Everyday, as I work to get my body to stretch just a little farther, to turn my legs out just a few more degrees, to point my feet just a few more centimeters, I know. I'm conscious, I'm present, I see the goal in the distance.

So yes, ladies, you may have more skill, more talent, more beauty, and you may have youth on your side, but I must and will show up in that studio and dance, or risk dying inside. What about you? Quitting is not an option. What about you?


  1. In that case? Can I live vicariously thru you? Unfortunately I have both of my feet planted firmly on the ground ([feet - dance] connection intended) I can't dance or do as I would like. While I am content (sort of) - I am bound to life's trappings, work, family, RESPONSIBILTY?!?. I am not in a situation where I can work hard for the things that make life an adventure. Instead I am locked into a life that makes me to work hard for the things that are merely essential. Not much room is left for myself or dreamworhty pursuits- certainly not something so freeing as the way music can drive a person to dance. For now, and hopefully not forever - I can only dance in my car on the long ride to work (this probably endangers everyone else on the road) but that seems to get me thru. I am just ranting, but my point is - live it up while you can! You are an inspiration. And I am enjoying your blogs and watching thru it your adventure.



  2. oh this was so good. I got a little tear at the end. :)

  3. Thanks for leaving a comment. I alwaysove "meeting new people". Your blog is inspiring and I think it is so brave. You do have "moxy". Baby!!!!! Can' wait to see how it keeps going for you!!

  4. I've always been so envious of dancers! There are people who can sing, there are people who can dance, and there are people who can do both successfully. I'm the former, and I always wished I had picked up some dance too!

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  6. WOW! I Love that quote, and I love your attitude. I'm kind of in the same boat, except with baking/culinary. Much power to you for going for it and being so dedicated. It may be harder your way, but when your passion is authentic, there isn't anything more powerful than that. Quitting is not an option. You said it sister.