Many of my reflections have fallen within the theme of “learning to be okay with not being okay” by finding comfort within insecurity and accepting feelings of lack as natural parts of the human condition. I find myself often questioning personal goals and achievements and constantly reevaluating where and how I expend my energy - all in the name of personal and artistic growth. So this month, in celebration of my birthday, I am choosing to focus on the incredible fortunes in my life by reflecting on self-defined successes of the past year.
My 30th year began on an airplane to Buenos Aires with my chosen dance family, LA Contemporary Dance Company. It was an incredible experience performing for international audiences and I was even awarded the opportunity to share my teaching practice with some of the local dance conservatories. It was also during this trip that I realized it was time to make the incredibly difficult yet exciting choice to step away from performing with this amazing group. I finished out my season with some awesome leadership positions (such as Program Coordinator for their Summer Intensive and choreographer for their annual children’s show for the 4th year in a row) and said farewell with one final performance in the premier of Nathan Makolandra’s Nomad.Lore.
In a seamless transition, I premiered my first evening-length solo work this is a blank page . a story in motion to sold out audiences at Highways Performance Space in August. This show has gone on to be presented at The Bootleg Theater, the Center on Halsted in Chicago, and is slated for Coachella Valley Repertory Theater this July. In addition, the final chapter of this program, this is not the end, has been invited to partake in the Gdanski Dance Festival this June. This festival has curated 35 contemporary dance solos from across the globe for a week of performances and workshops. The creation of this solo work was three years in the making, and to achieve these opportunities so shortly after the premier feels hugely validating and rewarding.
Due to this amount of attention to my solo practice, it was also hugely important for me to make this year about creating with and for other bodies. Shortly after my rebranding as Bodies in Play I was asked to choreograph my first music video. I went on to choreograph four more within a matter of months. I created a new duet set to premier later this year (thanks to the support of the Pennington Dance Group Space Grant Award), and I choreographed and directed two performance experiences for the New Mexico Museum Foundation’s Centennial Gala, commissioned by George RR Martin’s Stagecoach Foundation in Santa Fe. All of this on top of countless hours of teaching and the development of a brand new solo.
So through all the hardships, stress, disappointments, and confusion, if my next year can be even half as fruitful as age 30, I’d say I’m doing quite well. Perhaps my gift to myself should be just an ounce of patience with a large helping of gratitude. Plus a pinch to grown an inch.