The first time I stepped foot in a dance class at age 12, I knew it was my calling and I knew it was what would occupy my time, my life and my heart forever. However, there was no way I could even have imagined the many paths I would find myself walking down, in the next 26 years, as a result of this “calling”. As a wise person once told me “We don’t choose dance, it chooses us”, and so, it has driven me between multiple dance studios from Toronto, to Chicago to Interlochen, to New York, to LA, Montreal, Tel Aviv and back to Chicago again, on a quest to refine my “craft”.
At one point in my early twenties someone told me that he believes that dance is the most selfish of all the art forms; this statement rocked my world for a short time as I considered whether or not I believed it to be true. I considered long hours spent in classes and rehearsals, referencing the mirror to assess myself, how I looked, how my body looked, how my quality of movement was coming along, how my lines looked etc. etc. etc…. and worried that this person was right. The question then became “why”.
What is my “why”??
The answer is not as straight forward as one might think, but I can say with certainty, it has never been about me. One of my favorite quotes by Nobel Prize winner, T.S Eliot:
“It is obvious that we can no more explain passion to someone who has never experienced it, than we can explain light to the blind.”
From my time dancing with Giordano Dance Chicago to my time dancing with River North Dance Chicago, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and multiple pick up dance companies, to 20 years of independent teaching, coaching and choreographing, to co-founding Extensions Dance Company and Extensions Dance Center and then co-founding Zilliewear Dance Wear, my “why” has evolved with each new chapter of my career. Despite the evolution of my why, it always comes back to the need to fulfill my passion in myself in an effort to inspire, spark and awaken passions, thoughts and positive perspective in everyone I come in to contact with. Dance in all of its facets has helped and continues to guide me in the process of self evolution, and it is through dance that I am able to see the world differently, in a way that, despite trying times, keeps a fire burning inside of me and a light in my eyes. This is my contribution to society, to the world and this is why I get up every day.