Though I had previously edited the look and feel of my site prior to my recent life moves, old thoughts and feelings remain in my main feed and now that I am settling into this new adventure, I feel it is time for an update. And truly, that feeling is the one that is leading me into finally taking the time to sit down and collect my thoughts: I feel settled.
Sometime near the end of the last school year, life hit me like a cliché ton of bricks as I realized that my career path was about to skyrocket into something that perhaps was not my desired goal or intention – a realization that now, when I look back, was presenting me with warning signs and thoughts over the past year but I had pushed them off to the side thinking and believing that I knew better. The “hustle” that used to excite me was starting to disappear earlier than I had planned and I realized in a sudden instant that there was a change that needed to happen: If pursuing my Master’s Degree in Dance Education wasn’t already enough, I realized it was time to shift my focus and my path, transitioning to full-time freelance work as a choreographer, traveling dance educator, and dance competition judge/faculty.
So, I left the stability of my teaching and coaching jobs in Cleveland, Ohio to pursue a new self-directed venture working with as many teams and programs as I possibly could, but within a schedule and environment that allowed for me to truly give my whole self to each gig and reset my mind and soul in between. Here we are in my new home of Delaware nearing the end of August, and I have just finished choreographing my twelfth routine of the 2022 – 2023 Competitive Dance Season, feeling like the puzzle pieces are falling into place. I have said it a few times, to those I have worked with and to those I am closest too: I feel as though I am finally creating some of my best work. My mind and energy are focused on and deeply connected to/invested in each session, whether it be choreographing a competitive routine for 20 incredibly talented athletes or teaching a class of 10 pee-wee level dancers who are just beginning to develop and recognize their love for dance. Thoughts are flowing and movement is following, and the Flow State that I have spent so much time over the past few years studying and working to further bring into my classroom is becoming my new home no matter where in the world my feet are planted.
Throughout the process, I am learning even more about myself and what is important to me, as both a human and an artist working professionally to turn my passion into a financially stable lifestyle. The discoveries continue to bring new light into my life and my work, such as the power of an outdoor walk while listening to upcoming routine tracks; the invigorating challenge of researching pedagogical methods for my upcoming thesis study; coffee dates with like-minded professionals and the new connections that follow; and the value of reaching out to friends who mean the most to me, yet the controlled chaos I lived in for the past few years led me to slowly pull away from. I have been existing and moving in the dance world for the past 22 years, and in this new adventure I am beginning to feel a brand-new energy that inspires me to remain in this field for the next 22-hundred.
Am I crazy for leaving stability to pursue something that is unpredictable and unconventional? Possibly – and I would be lying if I said that I hadn’t had a moment or two where I asked myself: What in the world am I doing? But when each week thus far has led me to a singular moment or insight where I feel I am exactly where I need to be, I think it must have been the right move…even if crazy.
So as the season progresses, I look forward to the upcoming choreography sessions, workshops, and dance competition events which already fill my schedule, as well as those that have yet to be added. Whereas I used to feel so “blessed to be stressed” with the hustle and chaos, I now find myself back in the “dance hurricane” – but this time, in the eye of it, able to breathe and fully see the inspiration and excitement swirling around me. New year. New adventure. New career path. New discoveries, challenges, and accomplishments that I am equally excited to step into. Time to embrace the “crazy”.
AND SPEAKING OF CRAZY, check out my new TIKTOK page for a sneak peek into all of the excitement that this new season has already brought! WATCH HERE