Recently, I had to write a “Developmental Autobiography” for my LEAP class Personal and Professional Assessment. First of all, I loathe writing about myself. It feels too self-indulgent (I know, I know, hypocritical for a dancer to say such a thing) and it makes my life feel trivial. But, after a few days of staring blankly at my computer screen, I began to see the value in this process. “What defines me as a person?” “What events in my life shaped me into who I am as an adult?” These are probing questions, never easy to write about. But, I did notice a common theme throughout my life; NOTHING went according to my ‘plan,’ but everything had a purpose and lead me to the next event. One of my class mates was brave enough to share her story. While I didn’t agree with all of her strong opinions, I couldn’t help but to admire her conviction and ability to be so open. In lieu of this, I decided to share exerts of my autobiography . . . after all Dd is all about the process and this assignment made me further explore my process.
“Initially, the James Sewell Ballet was not my first choice for employment, nor was it my second or third. The company was not even on my original list of places to audition. Yet, there I was, standing in the James’s office, accepting his offer of employment. When I started all of my travels, in search of new dance employment, a close friend said to me, “you will end up where you are meant to be.” She could not have been more correct. I needed to travel around the country and fly thousands of miles to San Francisco to discover exactly where I was supposed to be . . .”
“Admittedly, I always enjoyed school. I did not decide to become a dancer to avoid an academic pursuit. I thought about college and applied to a few schools. However, I could not ignore the allure of dance. In the beginning of my career, I attempted to do both, taking online classes through the Georgia University System. I completed all of my general courses with an undecided major. Eventually, with the constant touring, rehearsing, and accumulating teaching hours, my academics fell to the wayside and I shelved college. This was done with regret, and I have thought about returning to the books ever since I gave it up . . . ”
“The idea of what I want from life exists – in the next several years I will retire from dancing, finish my Bachelor of Arts, attend a graduate program, and pursue a new career. How I go about achieving all of these items remains nebulous. Every day, . . . I strive to immerse myself in the present, and work on being okay with not knowing an outcome immediately . . . I am in a good place in life, but am nowhere near the end of my development; the verdict is still out.”