|Performing Mercutio w/ James Moore in Maillot's Romeo et Juliette (Photo: Angela Sterling)|
I've been so busy dancing, teaching, taking an extended workshop in Safety Release technique, and having an active Alaskan social life that I can barely find any time for my regular life activities. One reason I've taken a short hiatus from posting on here is because I have been taking advantage of an array of opportunities that freelancing in Alaska has brought me. Yes, at times, I feel way too busy. But it is more important for me to build relationships, find new ways to develop my trade, and to see the world. For this reason, I haven't had a moment to sit on the couch and catch my breath.
|Alaska Dance Theatre studios|
Another thing that shouldn't be taken for granted are social events. Often, after finishing a hard week of work, groups of dancers will get together for dinner and drinks. At other times, a donor may throw an event at their house. No matter the situation, one should do their best to attend a reasonable number of these get-togethers and events. Sometimes exhaustion gets the best of you or you don't have money to burn. Keeping these things in mind, I have found that a majority of the dancers who don't attend these event just weren't in the mood to be social. This happens to me at times, but I do my best to fight the urge to hang back at my host family's house and sit on my computer. Having an active social life offers a handful of benefits. I find that I am always happier and less homesick when I am surrounded by other people. Many times, I have heard dancers mention that they don't want to hang out with other dancers for reasons ranging from needing work/personal-life separation to discussions that are always centered around work. What one must remember, though, is that the connections made with others in their field can benefit your career more than any other relationships you create while away from home. Lastly, if you take a chance to get to know the support system and community that created the arts organization you are working for, you can make invaluable friendships, connections, and support centers down the road.
|Driving down the Seward Highway in Alaska|
|Panoramic of Seward, Alaska|
Dancing is an exhausting career, both physically and mentally. Many dancers take their time off to rest and recover. Leaving time for recovery is very important, but it is not uncommon for dancers to get stuck in a pattern where they think that they always need to be in recovery mode. These dancers miss out on a great many opportunities because they turn down chances to push themselves as artists, make new connections, and to see the world. Be smart with your time off, but also push yourself to take advantage of as many opportunities that present themselves to you.
|At the start of the Iditarod in Willow, AK|