I have always had a really hard time watching myself dance. All I see are the mistakes, the awkwardness, the flaws. I have so many videos of me dancing on my computer that I have never looked at.
I’m trying to get better at being kind and compassionate with myself, including my own artistic expression. I remind myself that even my own imperfect art can still touch, inspire, and connect with others.
In 2011 I created “The Message,” a dance piece inspired by my experience at Quaker Meeting for Worship. It was not an easy time for me. I had recently moved back to the Bay Area into my moms place in the suburbs. I had no job, no prospects and few friends. But in the middle of that, I felt this leading to make this piece, which embodies what it feels like for me to receive a message to share in Meeting for Worship.
It’s not perfect — I’m not a very good popper. But I know that folks who have seen this piece got a glimpse of what I was trying to say. And it inspired a whole dance show involving 15 other dancers, which someday I will feel brave enough to revisit.
For now, I’m shouting out “heeeyyyy!” and throwing my hands in the air for 2011 Riki for making and sharing this piece with the world.