Okay just one thing: YA GIRL FINISHED. Ok moving on. If my Instagram profile doesn’t make it obvious enough, January has been a crazy month for Clippers (I swear there is so much red and blue happening). With back to back games, appearances, halftimes and added rehearsals let’s just say I’m very thankful I now live a few blocks down from Staples. Now that it’s starting to slow down a bit and the craziness of this past month is coming to an end annnnd doesn’t feel so new, I’ve started to dive back into taking class. And something cool is happening.
I’m beginning to see how much Clippers has helped me grow as a dancer and human in general. Of course there’s the obvious ones like overall skill level, discipline and being able to pick up choreography more quickly…I mean duh, I’m dancing and performing every week those are pretty much a given. But where I’ve noticed it the most, is in my confidence. When I moved here, I didn’t even realize how self conscious of my dancing (and overall human-ing) I was. Am I doing this right? Do I look cool enough? Is it weird that I have a backpack on? Does this make me look fat? What if I can’t pick up the choreography? Am I about to look stupid? Oh shit its a walk sign, hopefully I don’t trip while crossing the street!!!!! All very standard every day thoughts. Like, you guys, I would seriously get nervous to walk into studios to take class cause I was concerned about making sure I didn’t make an idiot out of myself to the person WORKING THE DESK. Whaaaat??
Now here’s the thing: I’m not writing this to say that I am now an expert on all things self-confidence, because that is most definitely false. But what I am saying is that being able to actually see the growth that I’ve made positively affect my life is pretty freaking cool.
Last month I went home for a little bit for the holidays and was able to teach 6 classes. For me, it is so rewarding to be able to give back to the dance community back in Iowa. I remember being a kid and being so excited to take class from guest teachers. I mean I would still stand in the back and be freaking out about if what I was wearing was good enough, but nonetheless….freaking out. Now that I am in the reverse position when I go home, it is pretty surreal. This last stint of classes, one of the students asked me what my favorite performance has been and looking back on this season with the Clippers, one stood out. Kyle.
When I first moved to Los Angeles, I stayed in North Hollywood for the first year with Jordan, Kristyn and Kelly. Jordan and Kristyn were obsessed with this artist that I had never heard of named Kyle. All I knew is that he sang some catchy-ass song about a curly headed cutie who don’t get too many likes. And it was stuck in my head. Always. Actually it was probably stuck in my head for the first few months of living in 362. Fast forward almost a year and I get an email from Clippers letting us know that Kyle and his management team were going to be at our rehearsal because the 12 dancers on that game would be performing with him at halftime in 2 days. OKAY. Obviously I texted Jordan and Kristyn immediately. It just was kind of a ‘full circle’ moment. And obviously I was pumped to perform with an artist for the first time in my dance career.
The performance was literally my favorite dance moment ever. Not because of the choreography or amount of people in the crowd, but because I have never felt that much gratitude before, during and after a performance. Ever. Kyle was the most humble humans ever and was so complementary of us and just all around so thankful to be there. That kind of energy spreads. Quickly. I just remember sitting in the front, waiting for our cue to come onto the court literally almost crying because how the f did I get so lucky to be surrounded by all of these women who feel the same way I do right now?? That performance definitely ignited a flame for me. Cue 2018 goal number 982742: perform with an artist (outside of Clippers).
How do I make that happen? Obviously getting my ass back in class is a good way, so I’ll start there. Another way to expedite that process is to get an agent. This is something I have been working towards since I moved here. It just hadn’t happened for me yet. I felt like for the last year I had almost been trying to force the process along. I couldn’t confidently say I was ready, but I would go to the auditions, do okay and not hear anything back. Story of my life. I had friends who were getting signed, hearing about all these auditions and booking amazing jobs and I’m over here being supportive friend number one!!! Which is amazing, but I wanted that for myself. I wanted it, but I didn’t believe in myself enough to get it. I’m honestly not sure when the switch flipped but I decided enough was enough. It was time to invest some time into loving myself. I took time out of each day to devote to writing, working out, dancing, going to the beach, even just taking 10 minutes to sit the frack down and play some good music. SOMETHING. Just one thing every day that wasn’t stress-filled and didn’t involve cheese and genuinely made me feel good. That’s when I started noticing a shift.
I was all of the sudden meeting incredible people on the same wavelength as me, finding joy in little things I normally wouldn’t notice, stumbling upon opportunities that were almost freaky tailor-made for me, actually feeling confidence in myself and what I came out here to do. The weeks were flying by and this feeling kept intensifying. I got better at mindfulness and silencing the part of my brain that looooves to hate on myself. She’s a bitch anyway, we don’t need to listen to her.
What I did have time for is goal-setting so this flow could continue. SO. That’s what I did. First thing I put on my agenda was getting signed to an agency (what I was trying to write about before I got sidetracked 3 paragraphs ago). I gave myself 6 months to do it and was ready to work my ass off to make it happen. In the spirit of flow, it ended up happening within the first 3 weeks of January. I didn’t have to poke anyone’s eyeballs out or bleed all over the dance floor. And what I mean by that is that it wasn’t forced, it just all came about so naturally. Today I officially signed paperwork with MSA and really am still in a bit of shock. I am crazy thankful and can’t wait for what’s to come in this next year.
In conclusion: set some goals, be open, be mindful and DO NOT get down on yourself when things seem to be going horribly and you feel like there’s no coming back from it this time…cause you are. And most importantly, give credit where credit is due aka stay grateful. And also take your own advice @myself.
Life is cool and so are you.