Stop And Smell The Roses!

By Brian Henninger

Imagine yourself, standing on stage in front of thousands, performing every single night. You have traveled the world. Now the job is over, and your back to NY or LA to start looking for another gig so you can hopefully continue to support yourself doing what you love. These moments we live as artists, entertainers, and dreamers are FLEETING. They are flickers of flame in the long burning fires of our lives. If you blink you may even miss these moments, these unforgettable, life changing and affirming moments.

In modern western society we have this deeply ingrained and in my opinion totally un healthy sense of go-go-go, achieve-achieve-achieve. While it certainly is crucial to be driven, and goal oriented in order to achieve things you want in your life, it is also very easy to get so sucked into the “Chasing” of your dream that you forget to really enjoy the fruits of your labor. You see, tours end. Music video shoots end. Commercials stop running. Bodies grow old. Things break. People die. The only thing you ever get to keep is your memories of the moments you have had.  This is why my message to all of you aspiring professional dancers and artists out there this thanksgiving is: “ Stop and smell the roses.”

We must learn to cultivate within ourselves the ability to be present in the moment during our journeys through dance. When we are present we can fully accept and embrace these amazing experiences we get to live as professional dancers. When we are present we are able to put all of the thoughts of “I am not there yet” to the back of our minds and instead revel in the thoughts of “I am so grateful to have come this far.”

The ability to dance can be taken from you at any moment. Cherish the fragility of it! Embrace each moment you get to even be in an audition room and be rejected over, and over again. Some one woke up today without a family. Embrace each moment you are tired, sore, and hurt. Some one else woke up today without any legs. Embrace each moment you get to be in rehearsal with like minded folks and play like little kids.  Some one else died before their 5th birthday. Most importantly embrace your gift of dance and while you achieve all of those dreams remember to stop and smell the roses on the way. Someone else doesn’t even have a frame of reference for what living a “Free” life even is.

Take a moment today. Tell those around you you love them. Tell your fellow dancers how much you enjoy watching them dance. Use your passions to inspire others, and be present in THIS moment, because someone else wishes they could do what you do every day.

This is a gift. Cherish it. Cherish each other.

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