If I could dance all day, I would. I remember a dance instructor who said, “You don’t choose dance. Dance chooses you.” Dance takes hold of you and there is nothing you can do about it. You feel the music differently than others and are moved when watching other dancers who express themselves so deeply in their work.
I come back to that quote when I feel the urge to move to the beat of a song. I see it in my daughter who is often compelled to choreograph a lyrical dance on the spot. Like many passions, dance stirs inside and wants to be listened to.
I learned about Misty Copeland from an interview she did with Tavis Smiley. She enjoyed dance as a girl, but it was only until she was 13 that she began training to become a dancer. 13 years of age is late for a ballerina to start training, but Misty was encouraged by her dance teacher because she saw talent and incredible potential in her. Although there were some struggles, Misty soon decided she would make a commitment to dance. She almost had to quit early on, but her dance instructor made it possible for her to continue training. She eventually became the first African American female soloist at American Ballet Theatre in 2007.
In Misty’s case, dance literally chose her. But passions come to you in different ways. What you are meant to do in life is not always clear. You are influenced by your environment and culture. But there is this passion in you that cannot be silenced. Sometimes your passion is expressed through a hobby, and you keep at it. You have to listen carefully to hear what it is telling you to pursue. Sometimes it is not a choice. Passion chooses you.
Are you pursuing your passion through your work? How did it find or choose you?