So, I have this theory.

It may not be new or earth-shattering, but it’s something that’s been playing on my mind these last few weeks.

Ask me what it is to be a professional dancer and I give a very vague answer. It’s more of an extended “Errr…” with a slight shrug, coupled with an apologetic smile. The results are very unglamorous, but the moment passes, the conversation moves on, and I feel somewhat mystified with my answer. It’s not that I’m dispassionate about what I do, it’s that the term “dancer” is an elusive one, even to me.

Often I feel my problem is the discrepancy with language. You say potato and I say, well… potato. Like any good essay, the beginning is governed by the shaping of your own definition, applying parameters to what it is you are writing about. Place those parameters up in life and it is easy to think that you are missing out on something, conversely, fail to shape them to some degree and you enter a stupor (exhibit A).

I think I may be able to eradicate future vague (read: embarrassing) situations if I solidify my identity by not living a semi-detached lifestyle, but rather embracing a full-bodied experience of dancerdom, whatever shape and definition it takes. More and more I realize a path to “success” is elusive if you can’t find within yourself what success means to you, and the means you have to achieve it.

And so my theoretical proposition is this: the artist is lived, not acquired.

Acquiring something begs for definition. Living something allows for life to grow and shape itself, a career/job/calling can develop and extend beyond the boundaries that have been set up. How many times are your inspirations been those who step outside what you’ve expected? If I’m to surprise myself, really push myself, and fall into the lifestyle I crave, it defies definition.

So enter project Exiting Stupor.

It is giving myself permission to surprise myself.

It is being and living the dancer and not believing it’s something that I’ll create for myself in an instant. I’ve been training for years, thinking and acting like a dancer for years and yet I’m still waiting for the moment when I feel like I am a dancer – strange, isn’t it? It’s not your conventional job. There are no parameters, guidelines or timelines. The “dancer” is as individual as the person and that’s what makes them fascinating – it’s what keeps art interesting, moving, and developing, because a deep-seated interest in every human being is what it is like to be another.

It’s time to play. To exist. To live.