Day 308: Eleven.Nine.13

My student’s dance performance at Bullis went so fast. All of the nine weeks of teaching and planning and yelling for a room full of high school students to be quiet… all of it was over in what seemed like just a matter of minutes. They did a really great job.

It’s crazy how quickly this temporary teaching gig became just a part of my routine.

And now, it’s over.

I don’t know how it happened, but I was completely blindsided by the ending.

What happens now?

Here’s to another day of creativity…


Day 305: Eleven.Six.13

My teaching stint is coming to an end.

Today was tech for the Stevie Wonder tribute show the students will be performing in this weekend. I have been working on this show, with these students, for the past nine weeks, thanks to my awesome friend who runs the dance program and brought me in as a guest teacher/choreographer.

I didn’t realize how awesome the show is going to be until I was sitting in the audience watching it all come together. Don’t get me wrong, it’s high school-quality performing. But the overall production is so well done. Not that I’m surprised that she would pull this off. It’s just, I had been in the middle of it so long I didn’t realize it was all happening around me. From the blending of the jazz band and the dance company in shared pieces, to the costumes and video… it’s going to be one hellofa night.

I’m also realizing how much I am actually going to miss this teaching thing.

In any event, this has been exactly what I have needed and I’m so glad my friend realized it – way before I did.

Stevie Wonder Tribute Show Tech

Stevie Wonder Tribute Show Tech

Here’s to another day of creativity…

Day 301: Eleven.Two.13

The ‘cinematic short’ dance concept video I was recently a part of, created by Crishon Jerome and with direction and videography by Nadia Itani, is now finished. What a superbly talented group of people – glad to have been able to be a part.

Here’s to another day of creativity…

Day 274: Ten.Six.13

I potentially successfully talked a choreographer-friend out of using me in his upcoming video choreography.

Here’s how the scenario went down:

  1. Friend tells me he’s in town, teaching class, scouting for people to be in his concept video
  2. I tell friend I will be there
  3. Post on facebook that I am super excited to take class, while simultaneously putting myself down and saying I will be dancing in the back and please don’t laugh too much at the ‘old lady’
  4. Take class, mostly enjoy myself, a little bit get frustrated with myself that my memory skills are not up to par with where they used to be
  5. Ask friend to let me attend his rehearsals, promise to stand in the back and let him know I’m not in any way expecting to take part in the actual video
  6. Attend rehearsal, continue to be overwhelmed by the desire to be IN the video
  7. Dance smaller than I know I’m capable of, simply because it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy, this world of self-doubt
  8. Get moved into a place in the piece (maybe I will be in it after all?!)
  9. Find out at the end of rehearsal that I may – or may not – be in it still…
  10. Let friend know I will HAVE the choreography by the time of the shoot, if that’s what he’s worried about, but understand if he doesn’t put me in for stylistic reasons
  11. Leave, feeling mostly defeated – by myself

Here’s to another day of creativity…

Day 247: Nine.Nine.13

Day 1 of return-to-dance-teacher-life:

I’m not as prepared as I would like to be. Seems my affinity towards procrastination is a hard habit to shed.

I’m sweating. Embarrassingly, profusely sweating. The kind students make fun of behind teacher’s backs while walking in the hallways to classes. ‘Did you SEE Ms. Emily’s sweat circles??’

I’m wearing sweats to work. And that’s ACCEPTABLE.

I’m listening to music. And moving. And the lovely students are listening to the music. And MOVING.

I have a lot to offer this group of young, aspiring dancers. I’m delighted to be working with them.

Here’s to another day of creativity…

Day 243: Nine.Five.13

Sweat dripping. Quickened breath.

Ripped skin. Blisters forming. Muscles aching.

And I am loving every minute of it.

My body once again MOVING. LEARNING. DANCING.

It’s been so long and we have such a short amount of time. We have a certain level of trust that only comes in this line of work – something unspoken that comes from knowing how and where and why one moves.

She just back from baby number three, me back from what is now going on a four year leave from the dancing world.

My muscle memory took over and I was once again dancing like the adolescent bun-head I used to be.

And that was just the problem.

The movement felt forced, anxious, small. I knew this, but I knew not how to fix it. I kept apologizing. Promising her – and me – that I would have it perfected by tomorrow.

Finally, at the end of day two of rehearsal (with one more to go before I perform the piece for the first time) my longtime colleague, friend, fellow dancer gently urged me to dance like the thirty one year old that I am.

It just, simply, had not occurred to me.

To dance with the maturity and wisdom and acceptance of my own body that can only come with time and age.

To take up space – not apologize for it.

To be sexy – not pretend to know how to be.

To own the movement – not try to dance as someone else would.

To move and enjoy and cherish.

If this is what it means to start acting my age, well, I’m all in.


Here’s to another day of creativity…

Day 242: Nine.Four.13

Got to dance in this lovely space today.

Dance Studio

Get to perform the piece (which we started today) as part of Contradiction Dance’s work this Saturday.

My mind remembers what I’m supposed to do.

My body has a little catching up to do.

I’m hoping my mind wins out…

Here’s to another day of creativity…

Day 240: Nine.Two.13

I love this transition from summer to fall. The possibility it holds; a fresh start, transformation. It always just seems so romantic in my head. The crisp, cool nights. The changing colors.

The transition is bringing about some changes in my world, which I wasn’t quite ready for. I’m anxious and unsettled inwardly, even though I’m more settled outwardly than I have been in many many months:

  • Teaching for the first time in a long time
  • Dancing (contemporary) for the first time in a long time
  • DC Artist Exchange event series coming to an end
  • New version of ReSourceArts (with new business partner and altered/better business plan taking shape) coming to fruition

And while I have taken on all of these things, on a daily basis, my behavior would show that the closer I get to realizing some of these dreams of mine, the more self-sabotaging I become.

Seems an appropriate time to be reminded of Marianne Williamson’s quote:

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.’ We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people will not feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone and as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

Here’s to hoping this season is one of true forward movement.

Here’s to another day of creativity…

Day 172: Six.TwentySix.13

I have been freaking myself out about this show for months.

Not like I haven’t performed before.

Not like I don’t make myself vulnerable everyday with this whole public blog thing.

But even with all my ‘years of experience,’ I feel like a beginner when it comes to creating personal work.

Crazy that the one place I feel most comfortable – lost in music on a dance floor – is also the place that brings me the most amount of anguish when it becomes public.

Times sure are a changin’ though.

Up until recently, I would have given up already – returned to my comfortable world of doing other people’s work.

Instead, I’m trying to embrace the fact that my work may not be ‘good,’ but it’s honest, true, and it’s forever in-progress.

What more could I ask for?

Here’s to another day of creativity…

Day 144: Five.TwentyNine.13

One day in my future I wake up and I am brave.

Water flowing over rocks, I am fearless in pursuit of the twists and turns.

One day in my future I wake up and I am free.

Bird in flight, I am unapologetic in pursuit of the horizon and everything in between.

Until then, #ohthankgoodness for the brave people in my life. Who can share in abundance until I can find my own kind of free.


Here’s to another day of creativity…