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Whenever I realize a change within myself, I feel I’m experiencing a unique brand of epiphany. It’s akin to that glimmer of excitement that stirs when I notice a new blossom blooming on a household plant. Had I watched carefully enough, I could have seen the initial pushing of bud from stem, how the bud began to swell and stretch, the moment when its petals began their slow reveal. Having neither the patience nor time, though,

I witness this process in a moment. One moment, familiar; the next, a surprise.

I was reflecting on this phenomenon recently as I returned to school for my sophomore year. I’ve settled into this novel stage of my life, finally, and feel I’ve taken a step in personal development. This year, I find myself much more acclimated to my dance program, specifically. Last year, there were times I felt like that piece of that jigsaw whose proper place is always shrouded in mystery. While I dedicated myself and had a good experience overall, there was always the feeling that the program and I didn’t quite click into the beautiful picture on the outside of the puzzle box. While I outwardly pushed myself to try on the new styles and concepts offered me, in my head I was held back by those I had come to know so well previously.

It was during our first auditions of this semester that I realized those mental barricades had developed sizable gaps. Rather than trying to capture the aesthetic of confidence, I felt its embers heating my insides, its light naturally finding its own way out. Rather than thinking my way through the movement, I found myself dancing it. The outcome of the audition hardly weighed on my mind. I was enveloped both by the energy of those around me and by the simple joy of dance.

I surprised myself at how good I felt after the auditions. It is a rarity for me to have so few complaints about my performance in such trials. As classes continued and rehearsals began, I kept my mindset under surveillance. Though my customary mental processes and muscle memory still stand their ground, revolutionaries now stand in their midst. Change is in the air. I cannot predict whether all the changes will necessarily be for the better, but such is life. Doubly so, is dance.

As time flies by ever faster, I am both anxious and wary to see what I will become. My current experience with dance is paralleled by similar development in the many other facets of my life. Years from now, I may look in the mirror to find myself nearly realized, my petals on the verge of unfurling. For now, I continue to lean my leaves toward the life giving sun. With it as my guide, I can someday hope to blossom.

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