I feel much better this morning. A little drained after all the emotions, but so much better after working on some new things and really dancing while teaching Life Dance today. Yesterday I was really overwhelmed and torn about my inability to do everything. I know that sounds silly even as I write it, but it is true. One person can make a huge difference, but you can only be one person, in one place, at one time. I have students and friends performing in Norway today, I had a very moving day yesterday recognizing the progress the children are making and my desire to stay on and on to be a part of it, I have family back home I haven’t seen in 6 months, and grad school approaching ever faster. it’s a lot and it is hard to move forward and choose. My mom was kind enough to try to talk me down out of my frustrations a bit last night as I was super tired and cranky, and though I dreamed about it all, the sleep did help. And so did dancing. Dancing always helps.
My facebook home page is covered with posts from a lot of expat friends also having to move on and let some things go in order to let new and more good things in. It just makes me realize how hard life really can be sometimes and that it is not always hard because there are too many bad things. Sometimes they are hard because there are so many good things and you still have to choose. Our quote of the day for the volunteers yesterday began with: “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate, our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure…” I feel like this ties in with these feelings and my thoughts lately. We think that we are afraid of trying and failing, but maybe we are really afraid of succeeding. If you succeed then maybe you find something you truly love and are great at. If you really love something and are great at not only one thing, but several things, sometimes we have to narrow it down and choose one over the other. Or choose one now so we can do the other later and more fully. Personally, I think that can be a lot more painful and heart breaking than it is to mess up or have something not work out. At least in that context, the decision is made for you in a way.
Life is fantastic, but it is difficult in so many ways. I am glad we have a chance to help these kids identify their struggles and ways to overcome them though. One of the boys who was previously in Life Dance returned yesterday. He was removed from LDT for behavioral issues, but I know how much he loves dancing. So when I asked him what happened and why he was no longer in Life Dance, he said he was put on probation for one week for talking – on the last day he spoke out of turn (or possibly said something bad) he said by accident and his house mother reported it, and that was the end. At the end of his statement, he just looked at me so sincerely with wrinkles in his forehead and said…”It is so hard.” And it is. We had a conversation about it, and he knows how difficult it will be to pass all the assessments from teachers, house mothers, parents before being able to re-audition for LDT. This wasn’t the last time I heard that statement attached with true sincerity last night and I also heard it this morning. All from different students saying “it is so hard.” To do well in school, to be a leader, to always be a good example, to listen, to follow directions,….the list goes on and on. Just like in dance class it is hard to remember what your feet are doing, your arms are doing, where you are looking, moving from your center…..but if we practice it enough we hope to get better. There are always new layers but we get better and stronger at each one and then we can progress to the next.
We worked on the idea of building on our current foundation a lot today. I taught some new warm up exercises that used a combination of old warm up elements and some new steps as well as progressing some of the steps they know to a more challenging level. It took a little bit, but they were able to identify not only the steps that were similar in this new exercise, but also specific places where they had to use technical elements at a new height to complete a more advanced step or combination of movements. Since we just performed yesterday, I was also able to forgo running their pieces and do some more across the floor and combo. It was a lot of fun, and it was thrilling to see them pick up much more quickly and with more details than they were able to 2.5 years ago.
I am also so excited to have this one student, Ismail, in LDT. He is a newer member, but so amazing. He listens and is always one of the first in his place. I can see him paying attention to details and trying to give his fullest to each step. He also stays after and if Joseph is working on something, he tries to quietly work on it as well on the side. I think I see a future LDT president in the making 🙂