Skip to main content

the ladder of gratitude.

My experience with Collage Dance Collective, similar to that of YoungArts week as a senior in high school, was one of those pivotal moments for me as a growing artist. Reaffirming. Encouraging. Edifying. Inspiring.

I was quiet most of the time. Absorbing the information I received by watching how professionals work. They were tentative in rehearsing each step, inhabiting corrections right away and assessing the needs for their body to make the movement appear seamless. As a whole the company supported one another by communicating openly and honestly, it allowed them to become intimate for a show that was due in less than a week.

I use the words they and them....because it wasn't until a few days later did I realized I was swimming in that pool of professionalism and artistry as well. Unlike my experience at River North--I wasn't being shoved into a corner copying movements from someone else's body and pasting them into space when it was my turn. The weight of physical and mental exhaustion I carried home, along with everyone else. And from time to time we shared that weight, supporting each other with eyes and energy that said: You are Amazing. All of the time.

One night a few of us dancers went to Applebees for cheap Margaritas and I saw that same exhaustion in the eyes of a waitress folding napkins. There I was surrounded by laughter and trash talk about the events of our day, and I was captured by her. I saw a reflection of my own life....I'd been there many times, working a job that pays the bills. And I suddenly understood how long rehearsal days, threat of injury and fatigue could be so fulfilling. I was living everyday in my purpose. Because everything about what I do must be full of effort, honesty, character and truth...as an artist the works requires that. It leaves no room for anonymity-you come to the forefront of your work and give it your all.

I've achieved other life lessons just by being around these beautiful hard-working people. They will stay with me as I continue the journey elsewhere.

Thank You Collage.


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Yes, Work, Get Your LIFE. Street/Dance Workshop Jacob's Pillow 2020 NYC

My Life at the Pillow..." ~by JR Glover Today was a Pillow Day. As an Alumni, I traveled North to help facilitate and support the Recruitment Tour amidst other beautiful dancing bodies. It's amazing to see how we have all grown through the years as Dancers, Creatives, Choreographers, Directors and lifelong students. Even more, it's inspiring to know that we are all keeping at it--pursuing Excellence and honing our craft day by day. What was meant to be a standby experience turned out to be a Full Dance Day for me. I give thanks to my peers who encouraged me to dance. It was a risk--knowing that I had not danced or taken a technique class proper in several months. However, due to the nature of GYROKINESIS as an instructor, I never lost body awareness, posture, alignment etc. So it was just a matter of tipping over the edge again to see where my body goes....and catching it again. It was a necessary challenge in fact, with the chronic pain of Trigeminal Neuralgia and C

Keeping Dance Alive, St. Croix Arts Community Outreach

 In 2017, I was at home in Washington DC bedridden and removed from everything that I knew.  My life as a Dancer as I knew it....was no longer. I could barely walk, performing menial tasks around the house was a burden for me. I often felt faint and dizzy. My nervous system had taken a hard hit from the brutal cold winter of Chicago. The winds  shook my bones and my days of job hunting, street performing in the Chicago O'Hare Airport for bills and just aimlessly walking in the snow drove my body into a state of shock. PH. D Chenzira Davis Kahina & Ms. Charlita Charlita Schuster,  great friends discussing a paining in the UVI Cultural Center After my last gig as a Broadway Dancer, there was nothing more for me in the Windy City. I'd returned home with question in my mind and heart as to how I would move forward. I was diagnoses with a rare chronic pain condition, Trigeminal Neuralgia. The International Association for Blacks in Dance had just revamped its organization, was g

Remote Work Saves the Day!

  People tend not to understand. Being an Artist means that you get no days off. It’s a 24/7 kind of job whether a Creative Commissioning Artist, a Teacher, Administrator, Advocate or Affiliate there is no way to clock in and clock out of Inspiration. It just hits you and you have to be ready. That’s why it ’ s helpful to just check out of life and into a hotel at times. Not to vacation, but to get a good night's rest, wake up and actually get things done. Maya Angelou, Pulitzer Prize Writer said that she couldn’t write in her home because she was surrounded by too beautiful of things. I get it. There are layers to inspiration in if you’re not in the right setting it can mess with your mental space too. Follow IG: @na.bee Travelista Blog or  www.kaylaharley.com Getaway, not to Escape Reality — but to become it.” This is one of my many #beebodi quotes about wellness vacations, remote working travel excursions. Travel is a way of life and renders culture usually inspired by the surro