Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Ten Years

I always put music on and no matter where I am or what I am doing, I always see a performance. Whether I envision how it could look, a performance that has been done, a performance I want to do, I envision it all. 

This is something that has always been with me. The innate drive to perform. To be surrounded by art and the art of performing. 

As far back as I can remember all I have ever wanted to do, to be, was a performer. I wanted to be on a stage and give something to someone that you can not buy. Something so simplistically human but yet so complex that no-one knows what it is. What is it you get from watching someone perform? An experience? An emotion? A memory? Whatever it is, all I wanted to do was to provide that for someone with what I can do. 

The year is now 2017. I am 24 years old. I have now been pursuing a career in the art of dance for 10 years. 

I am a professional dancer. 

It's been 10 years since I began a journey that laid nothing else except uncertainty, hard work and literal blood sweat and tears ahead of me. 

10 years since I took that first step-ball-change into my new life. 

I look back on where it all began. 

It's unclear to me to pin point exactly when I knew that I wanted to perform. The way my mum describes the early years of my life it sounds like I came out of the womb with Jazz hands. 

She always re-calls me being front and center of most school discos or family events performing dance routines to Steps that I had spent hours trying to memorize and perfect. 

But the funny thing is, even though I was a little boy dancing at the front of the disco, I never realized until much much later that this is what I wanted to pursue professionally. 

I'm a firm believer that all it takes to spark someones passion for succeeding in something, is someone else to give them a slightest bit of belief. 

I am extremely fortunate that life lead me down a road to meet one particular woman who provided the flint the spark the lighter.

At the age of 10, I began to attend a local drama school that was just starting out. 

Little did I know the impact that this school and it's principle would have on, not only me personally, but my entire life.

The principal of this school was a woman by the name of Beverly Hewitt. A woman who I will quite simply never forget and never be able to articulate the gratitude that I have for her. 

This inspirational woman set up a drama school that she built and believed in with all of her heart and soul. I can still remember my very first lesson there to this day. 

Had it not been for Beverly doing this and providing myself and the hundreds of students that have passed through this school since it's opening a place to freely express ourselves through the art of performance, all the while learning extremely valuable and useful techniques (which I still to this day use in my job), then I don't know where I would be right now.

Not only this, but through Beverly's love for the art of performance she helped provide me with some some of my fondest and greatest memories. 

I firmly believe that had it not been for Beverly, my life wouldn't be the same. 

Unfortunately very recently, Beverly passed away.

I was and still am devastated. How do I possibly show your appreciation to someone who has helped shape my life, my career and my future? 

And then it hit me.....the best way I can honor Beverly Hewitt and her legacy is to simply carry on.

As I mentioned earlier this year marks my 10th year pursuing a career in the performing arts but more specifically dance. I have spent the last 8 years training, 1 year travelling the world as a professional dancer and this year I am about to embark on a new adventure.

This year I am about enter my third professional job. A job that will take me to Australia and it's surrounding parts for nine months. 

And so this post is to not only celebrate my 10th year pursuing this career and to inspire whoever reads this to never give up on your dream, but also to honor and celebrate Beverly's life and impact that she has had on me. 

Beverly taught me to keep going, keep fighting, keep performing no matter what. I want to be the advocate in someone's life that Beverly was to me. 

The very last time I saw her, I had just flown from Iceland to celebrate my brothers wedding and she was there. She hugged me and told me how proud she was of me and I will never forget it.

Thank you Beverly.

It's because of you that I have traveled the world.
It's because of you that I grew up confident enough to be myself. To love myself.
It's because of you that I am the performer I am today.

I know you are looking down on me still giving me pointers on my performance and I will always strive to make you proud. Your impact has helped shape my life and I will never stop.

You provided me with the fuel to hold the flame.

Here's to the next 10 years.