In the Clearing
It has been two and a half years since I opened Wild Heart Performing Arts Studio and had my daughter and became a mother.
I've been navigating my way through a sort of wilderness and find myself in a clearing now, pausing to reflect before I resume the journey.
Looking back at the distance I've travelled, I see that my metamorphosis was as organized as it could be, but it still burned me to the ground. Leaps of faith are like that. Nothing can prepare you for the enormous anxiety and fears of failure, which loom, despite your faith and preparedness. I've just always known one thing to be true. Action alone is what leads to growth and evolution. There is no other way, so I signed on the dotted line and then had to deliver.
I've learned a lifetime of lessons the past two and a half years, which are woven throughout every class I teach, and it all starts with:
1. Gratitude. Thank you for dancing at Wild Heart, and with me, while I find my footing as a new studio owner and mother.
Wild Heart is a modest, starter space that has what matters most: world-class standards; holistic and progressive philosophy; expert faculty; a professional, sprung floor; positive energy, and light, in every sense of the word. Thank you for climbing up those stairs and showing up so open and brave. Dance class is hard. It requires courage and the willingness to face yourself as you are, as all that you think you are not, and all that you dream of being.
I see you. And I see myself in you. I see what you're up against- fear, doubt, self-criticism, mental and physical fatigue. And I also see the most incredible thing of all in you- your pure and radiant inner child full of love, creativity, wonder and untold potential. I see the best in you shining through. Beneath the armor of adulthood, the false stories we tell ourselves, the fear of failure/shame and the many habits of mind, is your true self rising to the surface in dance class on an ordinary Tuesday. Thank you for filling my life with such fierce beauty and light.
2. Don't wait. Waiting for everything to be just right may sound sensible, but waiting on the sidelines is the most dangerous place to be. Don't wait. Life exists only in the now. To fulfill your true potential, you must take decisive, intentional action. In the words of Mary Oliver, "you must be pushed out of the nest". Expect to be terrified and more alive than ever before.
3. Through the art of dance, we discover the glory of being human. We discover a universe within us with stars so multitudinous and bright they push against the edges of our being forcing us to expand in all directions, physically, mentally and spiritually. We discover what it means to be fully present, authentic and free. Through dance, we discover our own heart again and again and we are in awe of its softness and strength. Make time for your heart and guard it fiercely.
It must never be tamed.
- Suzana Stankovic,
dance-theatre artist; dance educator;
Wild Heart performing Arts Studio, NYC