As I turned my calendar from August to September a few days ago, I thought back on the whirlwind that was the last four months of my life. Has it really been THAT long since I turned my tassel and became a proud IU grad? It is my observation that true born-and-raised Hoosiers (I’m talking Indiana Hoosiers now, not IU Hoosiers…although I am proudly both) Do. Not. Like. Change! I know a handful of exceptions, but it seems to be a defining characteristic of our state and those who hail from it. I am most certainly one of those Hoosiers. In the midst of moving home with good old Mom and Dad, starting work, trying to re-establish a social network, helping my parents prepare to sell the only home I’ve ever known, and asking myself “Seriously, what are you going to do with your life?” I became a bit overwhelmed. I did my best to handle these major life changes with grace and a level head, and compared to my past encounters with significant life changes, I am surprisingly impressed with how I’ve done so far.
What does this all have to do with dance, you ask? EVERYTHING. The one constant throughout all the morphing chaos was my truest love; Modern Dance. Yes, I am sad to be uprooted from my AMAZING IU Dance Family, and I miss them dearly as they embark on another year while I am 75 miles away. But, I have found a new dance family here at Motus. I still have a bit of ‘new girl’ syndrome; keeping to myself more than I normally might and trying to learn everyone’s stories (and heck, their names sometimes!). But as we continue rehearsals for “IN“, I am absolutely thrilled with how the women of Motus are living the theme of the show. Their “IN”clusion of me into their space, their creative processes, and even their day-to-day lives is exhilarating. As the choreographers are digging into deep material to make a commentary on the effects of Inclusion and Exclusion, I wonder if they have even realized they’ve been living the reality of inclusion with me. I have been blessed to find a place where no one hesitates to joke with me, point out something that will improve my dancing, and always greet me and say goodbye with a warm smile. It is my belief that the immediate, nonjudgmental acceptance I experience at Motus has been the factor that has allowed me to weather the storm of the other events in my chaotic life. It is always amazing to me how dance can mean so much more than a set of steps to the timing of music, it is life and empowerment and so much more.