There are many talented people in my community. There are those who come by their talent naturally. There are those who have had to put ten times the work to get to a similar state as their natural friends. There are those who put in a tonne of work but know that they will never keep up. Those who have to put in the extra work to just keep up or lag behind, are usually those who are enthralled and enamoured with what they do. If dance was not a true love of theirs, it would not be worth all the effort and sacrifice they invest.

Those who are naturally talented at dance, may enjoy dance. They may be okay with doing it. Often, they aren’t as invested in it because they didn’t have to put as much in to get to where they are. Have you noticed that those who have things handed to them in life are usually not that attached to it. Be it coming from a rich family, they may not try to work as hard once they are employed. Those who come from poorer families often make the most of financial opportunities and will do whatever it takes to get ahead. Be it naturally good at academics, they get by on their natural affinity to regurgitate information, but may not be that motivated to invest in their studies.  The same thing happens in dance.

Dance is not an easy thing in which to become accomplished. There are so many factors that play into accomplishment – how many hours are put in on the dance floor, natural ability, access to competent trainers, and self-discipline are among the many. Much of it has to do with your attitude and willingness to get to where you want to go. There are so many facets of dance to pursue though. It can make the path quite winding and lengthy. If you are a chameleon in your dancing, this can make the path muddy as well because it becomes easy to get involved in too many different forms of dance.

At the end of the day, whether you are a professional or an amateur dancer, if you are loving what you do, you will feel gratitude for the ability to do so. Everyday I wake, I am grateful that I can touch a dance floor and dance my heart’s desire. Do I have natural ability? For sure I do. Do I have a support network to keep me competent? Absolutely. Do I have the discipline to put in the time? Most definitely and that is was has kept me still dancing at my age. The same goes with those who are dancing past 30 years old. We have to have the magic combination.

We also have to still love what we are doing otherwise we would have moved in a different career direction because dance is hard, especially as a profession. Those I talk to in my age category think the ingredient that has best served them is gratitude for the opportunity to have this career. We are lucky, and having made it this far, we know that it could be so easily taken away from us as well whether it be a health issue, an injury, or a change in our relationship with dance. I think that is part of the draw to this career  – unpredictability. I am grateful for that as well.

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