From a very young age I have had a respect for movement. In the theater world, a lot of the time as an actor, you will see breakdowns that call for actors who “move well.” I’ve always had a deep admiration for those who move well–specifically dancers–more specifically, ballet dancers. They are the epitome of grace and lightness. They exude confidence and do it all while making the hardest tasks look effortless.
Dance is not effortless. The blood, sweat, and tears that go into training, rehearsals and performances is something that needs to be respected. Most recently, I’ve realized that as someone in the arts, it is important to have an appreciation and respect for what I cannot do as an artist. I know it sounds odd, but I think that it helps me as an actor. I have had a love of dance since I was little; all while knowing that I would never be able to do something like go up en pointe or grand jete across the floor. Because of my disability, and challenges physically, I was forced to stop ballet at about 11 due to the fact that I’d be eons behind the other girls in class. Music has always been my first love. I’ve always loved classical music, and sweeping orchestral themes. I also always wanted to move around to the music. Don’t get me wrong, I still move around to music. Sometimes I look like a flailing chicken, but I move around. I only wish that for a second I could know the sensation of actually dancing around gracefully.
As a kid, I would watch ballets on tape. I would watch documentaries about dance. Mikhail Baryshnikov was the dancer of the moment when I was a kid, and I would watch the Nutcracker over and over before my parents took me to see it at the Boston Ballet almost on a yearly basis. I’ve just always thought that dance was one of the most beautiful forms of art. The body goes through so much pain and effort to produce something so exquisitely gorgeous. I have so much love and respect for dancers, painters, musicians, and any form of art that I don’t actually do. I think if we respect others art forms, we’ll have a greater understanding of our own.