Living, Breathing Art

A lot of what I like to encourage has to do with the arts as a whole, not just strictly visual. I see, now that I am older, that I have always seemed to run around with a good amount of creative bones in my body. Something I have always had a passion for is dance; an activitiy I find to be so creatively freeing and beautiful. This week I’d like to explore a different avenue in my art and share a few highlights.

This past weekend my two younger sisters and I had our annual dance recital. To some it may not seem like a big deal, but for my family it’s huge; my mother calls it our super bowl. Anyway…we had one straight week of dance, dance and more dance. It was hard work but also insanely fun and rewarding. Like a painting, you take countless hours to practice and harbor your emotions in order to portray exactly what you want your audience to be seeing. This week I felt like an artist in an entirely different way. Every year I seem to have the same thoughts. All year long I observe and I draw or paint, but at this time of year I change and seem to almost act out my art, instead of putting it on paper. I spent months in a room with my fellow dancers and our music. We practiced and honed in on what we loved about our art, what made it so important to us. I think, ultimately, it was the feeling of release, a sense of connection and also a means of expression.

My dance career is so important to my visual art and also where I hope to be going in my Education career. I don’t only dance for myself but also for my students. I have been teaching dance for about 7 years and have recently become a choreographer. This experience has really solidifed my decision to be an educator in a creative discipline. It is incredible what kids have to say and what they can do. At this point they aren’t held back by what they know to be true or untrue. If you tell them to flutter their arms in their ballet dance and pretend they have a beautfiful ring on their finger as they do so, they will never be so focused on their hand than in that moment. They hold so much emotion and will surprise you with what they can accomplish without having to say a word.

These past few weeks I have pulled energy out of my body that I didn’t know I had, danced for hours on end, worn multiple pairs of tights at one time, picked confetti out of my costumes and cried in the wings as my tiny dancers lit up the stage with the steps I taught to them. Our lives are so full of beauty and creativity and I am so fortunate to be able to find that in so many things that I do. We are constantly making as well as giving art to those around us, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I could jump up and down thinking about sharing the stage with some of my best friends and students, as well as when I sit down to paint with my favorite music filling my space. Find and embrace your art, it is everywhere.

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