Faith in my Choreography


Giant steps is one of the many phrases that we learned with UBW this semester. It is structured around Giant Steps by John Coltrane, a jazz phrase that starts immediately with an upbeat cadence. After learning the standard phrase, we were asked to choreograph our own number. At first, I was hesitant. For the past eight years, I had always been self-conscious about my choreography. With many songs I would choreograph a whole dance in my head, toy with the idea of performing it with my group, and then scrap it before anyone could see it. Dozens of could-have-been dances lie in a graveyard section of my mind. Sometimes it is laziness. Not wanting to go through the effort of aligning each movement to a beat enough for me to teach it. But most of the time it is fear. The fear of having my choreography critiqued or judged, interpreted or seen. Despite these reservations, YDT crafted a space in which I never felt such a fear. When were given half an hour to choreograph I released my mind to the music. Feeling an ease that comes once in every dozen attempts. Elements of ballet, hip hop, west african, and contemporary naturally crept their way into my combination. I had no idea what it looked like, but it felt like me. Not to forceful, not too technical, and not too complicated. And when Courtney and Amanda asked me to perform my combination again, I was a little shocked. For the first time in a while I had allowed my choreography to be seen. But by making it with my comfort in mind, I had managed to make it something that everyone could enjoy. Having faith in the art you make takes time and confidence. It takes a level of fearlessness and the power to let go of all reservations. I thank UBW for giving me the mental and physical space to reach this realization.