My grand plan after seeing Flashdance The Musical in Washington DC was to make a pit stop in Philadelphia to attend the So You Think You Can Dance audition.
I wanted to do the audition for a few reasons:
- This is the last year I make the age cut-off.
- It would be a cool experience to blog about.
- I had a small glimmer of hope of making it far enough in the audition process to perform Flashdance as my audition solo, really making that final scene of the movie come to life.
- And if I’m honest, I also wanted to make people in my life proud. I wanted my parents to be like the parents of contestants on the show, cheering and crying as they watched their daughter go for her dreams on national television.
When the reality set in about the traveling and time commitments it would take to make this audition happen, and when I pictured a long, long line of eager young dancers waiting in the cold for hours, somehow being herded in to a factory-style audition room with numbers, judges, and who knows what else, I started to question whether or not I really wanted to go. (You gotta really really want it to withstand that scene. Know what I mean?)
At lunch with two of my good friends, I confessed that if I skipped the audition I felt like I would be “giving up on my dream.” (Did I mention we had just seen Flashdance The Musical?)
Casey asked me, “Wait, is that really your dream? To be on that show?”
I thought about it for a moment.
You see, every so often my mind reverts back to the approval-seeking “pick me!” mentality of my ballet-trained past, and it causes me to go for things I might not necessarily truly want. (You might also relate to this, with or without ballet in your past.)
In actuality, I don’t even watch SYTYCD regularly. And would I want to put everything else I’m doing on hold just to do what seems like a cool thing from an outside eye?
And there it was. The get-real moment.
In saying “no” to something that wasn’t truly what I wanted, I was saying “yes” to what I already had.
The truth is, I kind of already am living my dream. I make dance videos. I perform pretty regularly. I get to help people make significant transformation in their lives and reconnect to their own creative and artistic processes. I get to help people dance again.
The things I’m doing may not be traditional and the vast majority may not even understand what I actually do for a living, but I’m starting to feel ok with that.
I don’t think there’s anything wrong with wanting to be on TV or wanting to make my family proud or wanting to be seen and heard by more people. But I do think that public recognition has to be an after-thought for it to be genuine. It can't be the primary goal.
As long as I’m doing what feels aligned for me, making a difference in people’s lives, supporting myself and loved ones, and creating my life, then why can’t I just do it and be happy? If more people are meant to see and hear me, I trust the right opportunities will show up to make that happen. Maybe next time it will be a TV show I’d really want to be on.
So today, instead of asking Nigel, “So do you think I can dance?”
I’m telling myself:
I think I can dance.
I think I can dance.
How about you?
Do you ever get into approval-seeking mode and go for dreams that might not be exactly your own?
Where in your life are you saying yes to what others want for you versus what you truly want for yourself?
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this one. Share yourself in the comment box below. Then share this with someone in your life who you think needs to hear it.
less thinking, more dancing,
pssst... Did you hear? Spots are open for the Thriving Artist Program that starts in a few weeks. Check it out!