March 15, 2012
After recent Major competitions I have had a little time to ponder an anomaly I had never noticed before. I have talked to a lot of my peers, as well as some older dancers who have set their sights on becoming a registered teacher. I guess I have one of those faces, because the back-stories come freely as we talk about where Irish Dance is now.
So many sad tales. So much betrayal, conniving, abandonment, ambition, indecision, frustration and greed, all mixed in with the friends made, the new paths taken, the goals adjusted and the battles won. It seems like no one has a straightforward tale. Has anyone started with one teacher and progressed all the way through untouched or untainted by drama? Has anyone been accepted by their own as they announced their plans to teach? All the stories I heard involved transferring with all its dark baggage, leaving the school of your genesis by choice or by force, Abandoning your teacher or being abandoned by the same. I myself have a twisted tale. Don’t you?
But I can see behind all these woeful origins, I see hope sparking. The reasons you have survived are bright and beautiful, full of hope and energy to become something great. Your ambition is not to become just like “them”, it’s to be better, stronger, smarter, or perhaps more kind or honor tradition more. To prove that there is a better way.
I have heard that often children who were abused grow up to abuse. Girls who hated being nagged by their mother hear her tones in their voices later on. We do this because it’s somewhat pre-programmed. We can break out of the cycle, if we before make a clear decision of what we will do instead. Replace the problem with a solution, and then work. Don’t give in.
I see that this new generation will be the ones to revolutionize our little quirky world. If we can resist getting sucked into the quicksand. Let’s keep our minds and our hearts open. We are stronger together than pulling each other apart. It doesn’t have to be this way. Take the stories that formed you, often turbulent like the potter’s wheel, to form and shape something new, something that will be stronger. Let’s not react. Let’s act.