A question I always get asked as a creative is “Why?”. Why dance and what keeps you consistent & committed?

The fundamental reason that I dance is simple; it lets me tell my story. I believe everyone has something valuable to say and everyone’s experiences in life are valid.

Nina Simone once said “An artist’s duty, as far as I’m concerned, is to reflect the times.” I don’t see a better way to do this than to tell your own story. To allow yourself to truly be seen by others. While life experiences are as many as there are people in the world, I believe our co-existence stirs, sparks & affects each other. My dance is an expression of my life. Specifics of my life story aside, I experience the same spectrum of human emotion that all of us do. Therefore the emotion or intention at the crux of any of my movement or creations holds the potential to resonate with and be recognised by an infinite number of people. The paths that we all walk may look very different, yet the journey & destination are ultimately the same. My dance is my way of being seen and heard in the world and honouring what it is I have to say.  I believe it is people choosing to be true to themselves that inspires others to share their true selves in return.

Dance has, as far as I can remember, been my own personal form of therapy. It allows me to work through things and work things out. It allows me to release feelings & emotions from my body, mind & spirit. My innate response to good or bad news has always been to dance it out. (Which I like to think is a lot more common than you may think…doesn’t everyone have a happy dance?!)

Dance is also a place for me to play. To let all aspects of myself and human nature run free, that may not be given expression in our everyday lives. You could argue it is a way of keeping your inner child alive and nurtured. I get to explore different characters, adventures & stories within the world of dance and bring them into our world. Ultimately, these characters are all an extension of some part of myself, though at times, for the sake of artistry, skewed or magnified.

Whatever your reason is for dancing (or any career you have chosen), I believe the importance lies in the authenticity of it. Not the reasons why you think you should be making this choice or other people’s reasons. Once you find your personal purpose in what it is you do, it changes the whole game.

– Jessica

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