Wednesday, May 21, 2014

"Do What You Love...Share Your Passion"

Why do you love it?
How are you sharing that love with others?

Sometimes I steal away into my computer and re-connect to my first passion, the very thing that taught me the meaning of loving something so completely that it consumes you in the best possible way. Late in the evening, when I should be finishing up my day and heading to bed, I grab my earbuds and pull up YouTube to watch dance videos. I search for contemporary or modern, especially loving the videos of classes and rehearsals in a studio. Those are my favorite because they are palpably real and raw, and the dancers have nothing to lose.

www.ektopia.co.uk - Holstee Manifesto
I love dance because I can always connect to it. It always makes me feel something...

I can feel the marley dance floor under my bare feet. I feel the hot breeze of a fan across my face while dancing away the humid Maine summers of my childhood in an aging 2nd floor studio. I can feel the floor burns and blisters on my feet, the bruises on my knees and shoulders, and the calluses on my hands. I can feel the nervous excitement of standing on stage right before the curtain goes up on a first performance and the intense commitment to dancing harder, running faster, and nailing each jump and subtle head movement the next night.
My first pointe solo, 1997
I know right away when I've found what I'm looking for because I want nothing more than to be dancing with them at that very moment. To climb on stage, to walk into the studio, and to move across the floor in the same way.

Most days my love for dance sits quietly on the sidelines, waiting patiently for a connection to the other parts of my life so it can pop into the spotlight for a split second before slipping once again into the background. But sometimes I take the time to reconnect to this important piece of myself. Without skipping a beat it jumps loudly into existence and takes over every aspect of my being. It oozes and drips from my soul and transports my thoughts simultaneously to my past and my future.

montenbaik.com - Holstee Manifesto
For over 20 years the way I shared my love for dance was quite simple. I danced. I performed. I taught dance to children and adults. I rehearsed and went to class for hours each day, 5-7 days a week, 12 months a year. The ways to share my passion with others seemed so obvious, so natural. And then I stopped dancing. Gradually I went from dancing every day to dancing one day, and some weeks no days. What had once been my career and my life - my identity - became my hobby. Then I started teaching, and I got to share my passion with my students throughout the year. I taught them dance. I showed them videos of the master tap dancers and modern greats. I brought in my pointe shoes and tap shoes and read them my favorite picture books about dance. Most of all I modeled that when you find that thing you love completely it's important to not just invest yourself wholeheartedly but to share that passion with the world.

And then I left my classroom and I no longer had a wide-eyed and inquisitive audience to share my passion with. So now I need to find a different way to share what I love, and that means taking risks and making commitments. It means pushing myself to reconnect to dance by taking class and auditioning so I can rehearse and perform this summer. It's exciting and scary and requires acknowledgement that I am not the dancer I was 10 years ago, and acceptance from myself to be ok with that. For most of my life the thing I was most passionate about happened to be the thing I devoted my life to training in, but there's no prerequisite to be amazing at all the things you love.

So what do you love?
Find something that brings you joy, that thing that instantly makes you want to climb out of your seat and onto the stage, and then do it as often as possible while sharing it with others.

The Holstee Manifesto: Typography Video