“Technique is the key to letting the bird out of the cage” Ms. Joanie would tell me as I rehearsed the Princess Florine (Bluebird) variation from Sleeping Beauty. Tending to tense up in pursuit of perfect execution, she had been coaching me to develop artistry for the past several months. Granted, it was only a student production, it was my first principal role–and the beginning of a journey I could never have imagined.Since sitting mesmerized by the Nutcracker as a toddler, ballet has always been a part of my life. I never expected to make it a career but as I grew, my love for dance did as well. In 11th grade, it was clear I needed to pursue my BA in communications non-traditionally (CollegePlus) and step up my training to dance professionally.
Pursuing a career as a professional ballet dancer, I found the road very empty. The world likes to tell us our story doesn’t matter and is based on the elusive approval of those around us–for much of my journey I believed that. While sorting through these thoughts, a quiet but strong voice whispered, “What do you ultimately want to do with dance?” Two words surfaced–hope and dignity.
Hope because Jesus is hope and dignity because each person on this planet was created for a reason and has a special purpose to fulfill.
An idea: dance can go places where words fall short. What if there was a way we could use workshops, multimedia and international trips to create art for the greater good? In January of 2012 my family and a few friends gathered in my parents’ basement to pray about this crazy idea. We didn’t really know what was next or how it was going to work. In March, we filmed Beautiful Things and released it that summer. Bluebird Uncaged hatched from an idea into a reality…
…You can check out the timeline for what’s happened since then.
Humbled, inspired, excited, expectant–yes, but it boils down to one thing: JESUS. He is the true source of hope, dignity and freedom. Our prayer is that hearts will awake to a story bigger than themselves, that culture will shift because of Truth presented in excellence, and that both dancers and non-dancers alike will be encouraged to live fully uncaged.