When I first set up this blog, I couldn’t resist selecting this template. Does the cover photo look familiar to you? It’s a picture of Trolltunga, in Norway, where Andy and I got engaged this past June! Trolltunga, meaning “troll’s tongue” is a grueling hike in the heart of the fjords, and from the minute we decided to go to Norway we knew we had to go. I mean, just look at the photo! How could you not? Now, as some of you know, Andy is a pretty tremendous athlete. He was a track and cross country star in high school and college, and he is one of those people that enjoys things like triathlons, Tough Mudders, and any other sort of crazy challenge that make other people cringe. Sometimes he carries a 50 lb bag of sand in his backpack when he goes hiking-just because. Crazy, right? I enjoy hiking but don’t have too much experience beyond some hikes in the White Mountains of New Hampshire with my family or Andy. So here we are, planning to take on this 10-12 hour hike. And I’m feeling pretty good about it. And then we get to Norway and the day of the hike is approaching. We flew into Bergen, and the lady at the car rental said “are you hiking Trolltunga? They have to rescue a lot of hikers every year with the helicopter, so be careful.” Which was pretty much my cue to go in to full scale panic mode. Like, ohmygodwhatamidoingi’mgoingtoplummetoffacliffintoafjord panic mode. I couldn’t eat at all the day before, or the morning of the hike. I started off with the biggest knot in my stomach, but as we hiked, and hiked, and hiked, it just started to go away. Thoughts of plummeting to my doom were replaced with thoughts of “oh my gosh! I’m doing it! I’m doing it!” After 6 hours we reached the top, and it was there that I got to say yes to Andy, who was by my side the entire time during all the freaking out- cheering me on, telling me to take my time, step here, keep going, you can do it.
So why am I telling you all this? I was at NUVO this past weekend with some of our dancers, and it struck me just how BRAVE we have to be as dancers. It’s incredibly brave to dance onstage in front of three people who’s job it is to judge you. It’s brave to take a class in a style you might not have ever really studied before. It’s brave to try a new step that seems scary or completely impossible, and it’s brave to attempt that step in front of your teacher or classmates. Seriously, these are scary things! One of the things that I love most about dance is how freeing it is. Because, we can and should strive to be perfect, but let’s face it-we can’t be perfect. Someone’s leg is always going to go higher than yours, someone can always do one more turn than you can, someone can always oversplit more than you (ouch!). But you know what you can be? You can be brave. And you can be YOU. And who can be more perfect at being you than you? No one! It’s not possible for someone to be better at being you than you are, right? So you can be brave and you can be you, and that’s perfect. That’s enough for me. You, in all your wonderful, weird, wacky glory, are enough for me, because you are the ONLY you. So dance full out, even if you have no idea what you’re doing, perform onstage even though the butterflies in your stomach are out of control, hike a mountain, answer a question in class even though you might be wrong, or be like Andy and trek around with 50lbs of sand in your backpack. Nope, I take that last one back. Don’t do that, that’s crazy. But you get my point. Be Brave, and surround yourself with people who make you feel brave. You never know where it might take you.