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the fifth dancer

statue of a dancer in a museum
statue of dancer by sole-d-alessandro

once upon a time, there was a girl

in many ways she was like other girls her age

she tried hard to be and do what she thought she needed to be and do so she could fit in, belong, be liked and even loved

this “trying to be” went on for a while

the girl liked to do many things but she loved to dance

not always, but sometimes, dancing filled her with so much joy and fullness and rightness

the girl knew she didn’t have perfect technique and her lines weren’t always exact and this sometimes made her anxious

the girl was aware that other girls were more talented and seemed to get more attention and this too would stress her out

but one day, it clicked

as the girl watched dancers, considered to be the “best”, doing a synchronized routine, she noticed something that changed her forever

they moved their arms at the same time

they moved their legs at the same time

they jumped and twirled and lunged all at the same time

all five of them moved like one unit

the closer she studied them, she noticed toes pointed sharper on one of them

an arm extended further on another one

a jump that seemed effortless to one

the head of another held in such a way that she seemed regal and majestic

the fifth dancer is the one that gave her joy

watching her, made the girl feel something

she had felt it before, but this time it was different

she had a keen sense of being witness to a soul being nourished

the fifth dancer seemed to be vibrating with an energy so powerful it gave the girl goosebumps

it was then that the girl realized why she herself loved to dance - it nourished her soul

it is a form of freedom

a gift of gratitude

an expression of her purpose

it isn’t something she does

it’s who she is

she. is. dance.

not puffed up, i’m better than everyone else dance

but dance only the girl can express with her head held high and legs and arms and toes that belong to only her and a heart filled with hopes deeply personal and desires deeply connected to her pain and challenge and heartbreak and longing, unique only to her experience as a human being

just as the girl felt something deep and moving as she watched the fifth dancer, she soon discovered that when she dances in sync with her soul, others can’t help but feel something deep and moving as they watch her

just by being who she is and owning it, the girl is one of a kind

and just as the girl was inspired by the fifth dancer, she inspires others, her energy dancing with theirs

this is revolutionary

this is powerful

it isn’t the act of dancing that nourishes her soul

it’s being dance

it’s deeper than a calling

it’s the caller answering her own call and connecting the stuff of souls to the choreography of their creation

so, whenever she feels herself slipping into doubt and drought, the girl rains gentle whispers into her heart:

i am dance

i am dance

i am dance

am dance

am dance



inspired by clovis east dance repertory

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