|My view from the Bolt Bus as I wrote this post|
Awhile back, I wrote a post titled “New York Calling,” where I considered the fact that New York seems to hold some strange gravitational pull for any artist that calls themselves dancer. At that time, I was caught in the middle of my freelance performance career floating from gig to gig with little direction but the wind. I wasn’t necessarily getting much work in the city, but I was receiving little sparks of possibility as I began dreaming of settling down from traveling for a little bit. While I started feeling that pull to return a few years ago, circumstances just seemed incorrect or impossible to move the hour and a half hop, skip, and jump north of my hometown.
At one point in my life, I would have probably just run with my gut feeling and moved to the city without furniture, job, or care for how I was going to make something happen. But things changed at some point along my artistic journey. When I first met my partner, I gave him the daunting ultimatum, “Don’t make me choose between you and my career...because I won’t choose you.” After agreeing to this intense consideration, he moved to Seattle to be with me (I claimed 2 weeks after he moved that I was auditioning to leave PNB, which took nearly 5 years to actually happen) and later relocated to Philadelphia for the next stage of my career. But by the time I started realizing Philly wasn't working out, I couldn’t choose between him or my career. He had already given up so much just to be with me, so I needed to give him a chance to develop himself and his career. So, I’ve freelanced out of Philadelphia for 4 years and ignored the pull of the dance capitol.
I came to a realization in the last year, mostly brought on by my first extended period of time staying home in Philly the first half of 2015. During my time at home, I did everything that I could possibly do to find inspiring work and connect myself to the greater Philadelphia professional dance scene. I sent applications to teach at pre-professional training programs, I applied for a ballet master position with PA Ballet, and I reached out to find a way to be a part of the greater ballet scene the city has to offer. At one point, I even applied for a week-long collaboration residency that placed Philadelphia-based artists with others in different genres. My rejection letter was kind, but I was disheartened by the feedback that stated, "It seems you are more interested in meeting artists than collaborating with them."
While there were moments of hope, I was left to go back to my regular way of working; creating my own inspiration and traveling the country to places that valued my work. By the time this summer had passed, I began craving outside inspiration and a place to call my artistic home. And it just seemed that Philly wasn't going to offer that to me. I knew what I had to do. But I was afraid to say it. I was afraid to ask. I was afraid to give myself permission. What if I moved to New York?
I spent much of the fall season working on my Core-ography project and developing my AK-BK Intensive Winter Workshop in Anchorage. But New York was on my mind the whole time. Slowly, but surely, I realized that I had to make this happen. During a quick visit to the city right before heading up to Alaska this past December, I mentioned to a good friend that I have freelanced with in the past that I was looking for a place to live. I was just catching this friend up on what I was doing. And, by chance, he happened to have a room opening up at his apartment.
Fast-forward a little over a month later, and here I am (I started this blog on the bus and finished after I settled in) laying in my brand new bedroom, staring out my window at the beaming George Washington Bridge, and smiling after my first day as a new resident of this incredible city. What am I going to do now that I'm here? I don't know. But I am so excited to have hope, possibility, and dreams staring me straight on. I look forward to looking back at this post down the road and seeing where this risk and adventure takes me.
|View of George Washington Bridge from my bedroom window|