It’s Not the Awards and Accolades

The past week was spent in San Francisco, California, for the 26th annual United Country Western Dance Worlds Dance Competition. It is where everyone in the country dance world brings all of their hard work and dedication to the dance floor to see if they can win a World Title.  I am beyond thrilled to say that I finally, after several years of hard work and determination won my long awaited World Title. To have danced against the very best in the World and have had the honor of placing first in the entire world is incredible and humbling.  I still feel like I need to pinch myself to make sure its real.


The journey that dancing continues to take me on is full of awe inspiring moments. Dancing has many facets: happiness, joy, hard work, determination and of course moments of disappointment.  There were so many times that I thought why should I put myself through the pressure of another Worlds and another placement that was less than ideal.  This year was going to be different. There would be no pressure because I would go into the competition with no ideal of where or how I would dance. I would simply dance for the joy and love of dancing that will always be the driving force behind long hours of practice and the real reason that I love what I do.  I would show just how much I loved dancing and why I was there. It’s not the awards that make the dancer, its the dancer that makes the dance.


One of my favorite pastimes is watching a class of thirty plus dancers learn the same piece of choreography and watch as each individual person takes their own take on what they just learned. No two people will hardly ever have the same take as the other.  There is an energy there that grows and has the power to inspire the ones that are in the room taking it all in. That is where the gift of dancing has one of it’s biggest potentials to give back the most. There is a life and presence on the dance floor that, when we allow ourselves to dance for the pure joy of dancing, shows in every move that we execute and the music that we dance to becomes a part of who we are.  We, in two minutes of time, have the ability to make people feel happiness, sadness, longing, or perhaps something we had no idea was there all along.  There is a beauty and a power found in dancing that is one of the driving forces in why dancing has been such a big part of my life.


Dancing and life go hand in hand.  Life is full of the same struggles and hardships as well as some the same moments of happiness and fulfillment when we have eyes to see them with.  Dancing has taught me some of life’s biggest and hardest lessons.  There will be times of hardships and failure. It will seem a like that no matter what you do or how hard you work the outcome will never change.  To persevere in the face of not feeling like you will ever be enough or that the standards of what this world says one should be is something that you could never measure up to is a head game that no one likes to play.  Through the countless times that I thought I had the ever coveted World title within my reach, only to  come short by a quarter of a point, was at so many times disheartening.  It was however, the people in my life that continued to support me and tell me that I was more than enough and that all I had do was show true heart.  Perhaps if we all lived life with a bit more heart and soul we would have even more opportunities to be the change and light of love in the world that we live in.


Imagine life without all of the amazing people that have been there along the way.  Some of them have been in it for the long haul.  Others have have only been there for a season, at times the season is very short lived. Each person was sent there to mold you and help grow into a better version of who you were always meant to be.  The lessons learned by each person that we cross paths with have a purpose and a lesson that we can carry with us through the rest of our journey in this world.  


Take more time to stress less, put the phones down that take up so much of our time, be more accepting of each person that we meet and know that we do not always know the whole story.  There is an opportunity everyday to be a true light in a world that can be so full of darkness.  Know that what we choose to see is a choice and we all (even when we have to dig deep) can see the good in those around us.  Let the music take you and know that the joy of life is a gift that is ours for the taking if we choose to take it.  Life is dance but when we let God lead we have the best dance partner of all time to lead where we were meant to be all along.  Sometimes we don’t always know where the road of life will take us. I had no clue that mine would take me me to a World title within a few short hours of dancing and in doing so I had to leave a part of me for the world to see.  Transparency and letting people in is a real struggle but it also shows great trust and faith in knowing that we know not what the next hour may hold but when we hold fast to the life and love that we are given everyday it makes the journey of where we go all the better worth the lessons we learn along the way.  #bethechange #lovealways #talesofasiren


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