I want to say a special thank you to Amanda McCorkle for bringing me down to Texas State today to talk to the dance students about careers for dancers.
I talked about the usual things: fitness instruction, healing arts, management, all the things I know dancers excel at. But more than that, I talked to them about what dancers ARE. Strong. Disciplined. Curious. Resilient. Observant. Effective. Unafraid of work. Unafraid of struggle. Inter-personally sensitive. Intuitive. All of these are qualities that dancers have in spades that extend into real skills through many professions.
It’s always particularly important to me to talk to the Texas State students because they represent the future of this country: young, racially mixed, culturally diverse and facing uncertain times. I said to them the things I’ve figured out:
If it isn’t there, create it.
If their story isn’t big enough for you, write your own story.
Go for the biggest thing you can think of plus just a little more. Don’t be small thinking things like “I’m ‘just’ a dancer.” Dancers are healers and have been since the beginning of human culture, a quarter of a million years ago. Dancers are organizers, activists, inspirers, creators of culture, bridges into the transcendent.
Don’t let other people dictate your narrative. Dictate your own narrative. Open a space for yourself and do the thing. Dancers know how to do that. We figure things out.
Respect culture, your own and that of others. Teach and learn at the same time. Know when to stand in the front to teach, and when to stand in the back to learn.
I was so glad to be there, in my Goth black and pink hair, to show them what a successful professional who’s still dancing looks like.
And then, on the way out, I took this pic of one of my favorite buildings in this part of the world.
Thanks, Amanda for giving me the space for my voice, and letting me soak in the smiles of those young people today.