Sunday, April 29, 2012

What is your outlet

    One of the things I am beginning to realize is that for me, three things stay the same.  Change, my love for dance and my supportive family, in no particular order.  This month has brought me a lot of hard times that I have had to overcome, but two of the things that have helped me stay strong is my supportive family and my love for dance.  Even though I wish no hard times on anyone, I am glad that they happened when they did because I had dance.  My love and my passion for dance was a way to keep my mind off of everything and was my way to soar in my own little world, even if it was only for an hour and a half.  My family and assistants were very supportive in taking me there because they knew it was my way to be free.  And the best part of all this is the month will be able to finish in a performance.  That to me, is just the icing on the cake.

    It is like saying “Jess, I know you’ve had a hard time, but you deserve to show off what you’ve been feeling and working on for so long.”  This is what I mean when I say “icing on the cake”.  So thank you to Momenta for allowing me to have this opportunity.  I have also decided to include my fourth speech from toastmasters because it is about none other than dance.   

Soar Like a Butterfly

I go into the elevator.

The minute and a half it takes to ascendfeels like an eternity 
I am so-O excited for what’s
about to happen. 

I know that after these LONG 90 seconds,

I’ll enter into my OWN little world

Where I can express myself however I want.

I’ve just described how I
feel when I am about to begin a
PID class. 

If you heard my Ice Breaker, you might recall that PID stands for Physically Integrated Dance. 

But I didn’t explain
·     what PID is; 
·     why PID is so special to me ; 
·     Or how I feel while performing.

A thousand words can’t adequately describe a PID performance, so you’ll have to wait until Speech #8 to see a DVD of a dance I choreographed. 

As defined in the active wheelchair user’s magazine New Mobility, <“Physically integrated dance is performed by people with and
without disabilities, together on the same stage or as part of the same piece of choreography” 

PID blends contemporary, modern, & ballet dance styles together. <

PID is so special to me because ever since I was a little girl, dancing has always been in my blood. 

I would dance for hours in my room and on my family’s driveway on nice days dreaming I was a ballerina.

I was always disappointed that I couldn’t attend regular ballet classes with my friends. 

Instead I went to dance classes with other “physically challenged” children that incorporated upper body movements from ballet, jazz and modern dance. 

Even though I had a BLAST, 
I never quite found my niche 
that is until I discovered
Physically Integrated Dance. 

In my PID class, dancers with different challenges such as Down’s syndrome, Epilepsy, and mobility perform together with able-bodied dancers in choreographed routines.

When I’m in my PID class,
I don’t feel different. 

For an hour, my PID class sets
me free from my wheel chair. 

Like any performer, I still get nervous before I go on-stage.

But as soon as the music starts,
my nervousness fades 
as I relax and enjoy myself. 

When I perform PID, I feel FREE!

This is because all my worries
are taken away. 
·     I feel like my wheels are just propelling my movement; 
·     I feel like a bird set free
from its cage; 
·     I feel like a butterfly ready to open
 its wings and SOAR. 

Tonight I shared with you my love for Physically Integrated Dance.

1) First, I shared what PID is; ?
2) Second, I shared why PID is so special to me.  

3) And Third, I shared how I feel while performing. 

I hope I’ve shown you tonight how anyone can SOAR like a Butterfly in the world of Physically Integrated Dance.

And how, in the words of one of the Jackson Five’s big hits, to become a “Dancing Machine” - like me!!

    One of the reasons why I love dance so much, is you don’t have to say a word to express how you feel.  On the other hand, one of the reasons I love toastmasters so much is you can say EXACTLY how you feel.  It is a platform for me to get my feelings out even if it is in an indirect way.  And finally, I love writing and sharing with you because it is a way for me to share with the world how I feel.  I never know exactly who is going to be reading this or who is going to be touched by this, and the unexpectedness is what makes me excited to write.  So, think about what your outlets are, what makes you who you are, and what helps you get through the day.  Mine are dance, writing and preparing speeches.  For those of you who haven’t seen it, below is an article that I was interviewed in for the Des Plaines Journal that I was interviewed in last Wednesday.   

    This month, think about whatever your outlets are, whether it be the same as mine or totally different like soccer, singing or playing an instrument.  Trust me, it will help you.  So I am going to keep on dancing, keep on writing, and keep on participating in Des Plaines Toastmasters Club 1645.

Your dancer, writer, choreographer and speaker,