/////////////////////// on expectations , becoming who you really are & moving with meaning
“You can’t perfect emotion.” — Kyle Filley
I think expectations are something we all battle with. Sometimes people will expect us to be & act a certain way, or look a certain way, or even have our plans & futures to be a certain way. Or these expectations can come from within. We expect ourselves to be perfect, to have it all together and figured out.
But that’s never the reality is it?
Kyle is a dancer who is at the brink of his future. Initially, he was going to study medicine and become a doctor, but about a year ago he decided that no, that’s not what he really wants to be — at least not right now.
Instead, he wants to pursue what he loves, and that is a career in dance.
That’s not an easy decision to make. Especially if expectation comes into play. It can be external expectations from others, or perhaps expectations that comes from ourselves. Shouldn’t we pursue something that gives us security? Shouldn’t we be selfless? Shouldn’t we do things for the greater good — or for “the long run”?
The thing is, I wholeheartedly believe that if everyone were pursuing what they truly loved, then it would be for the greater good because everyone would simply be happier & more fulfilled.
When I first found out that Kyle was going to pursue dance professionally, I was thrilled. Ecstatic, even. At the time, I barely knew him, really — I only knew of him because I would see him around our dance studio. I would really only get to see him dance at the yearly recitals. I always thought he was a lovely dancer, but it wasn’t until his final recital year as a senior that I saw everything change. When he got on stage, it was as if he was pouring himself into what he was doing — every moment, every extension had meaning for him. It was as if he was becoming who he truly was.
And that was a dancer.
I think it’s a special thing when people realize what they truly want in life, and where they want to go. Screw expectations, this a passion, a desire. Something that simple cannot be extinguished with time. I’ve seen it time and time again, even with my own self. It’s a brave, brave thing to admit it, and move towards it. Especially if you have fears about it, especially if you have doubts. Especially if you have voices in your head saying “Shouldn’t you be doing ______ instead? What will others think??”
That’s when you say: “No, this is who I am.”
I’ve said it before, but dance is not always about technique, especially when it comes to expressing ourselves. My favorite moment during the entire session was when I asked Kyle to dance through a strong emotion — & for him that was frustration. Namely, frustration tied with expectation. During that part, I saw him moving through emotion, and the energy that was coming from him was palpable. This is one of the things I truly love about dance — when you see the other person conversing with you, through only movement & energy. Because where the energy is, that’s where the meaning is. Where the emotion is. Even when the emotion is one that isn’t pleasant to deal with, like frustration. Moving to it is often a way for us to deal with it, to express it, to put it out into the world.
Which is why I am so thrilled that Kyle is doing something that allows him to express himself through movement, which I think for many people who love dance simply need. We need to talk in another language. And that language is dance. I am also happy that he recognized what he needed to find his bliss in the world, and to keep doing it. I think too often we let expectations get in the way of us doing what we truly love, and becoming who we truly are and doing what we truly need. We let other forces dictate how we should be living our lives, when really, we should take control and say no, this is who we really are. And own it. Be proud of it. Because that is you.
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Wardrobe styling by Susan Yee
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