Yesterday I had the humble pleasure of seeing a documentary made on a sweet friend and colleague of mine at the Boston Ballet, the freshly promoted soloist, Irlan Santos. Only When I Dance follows Irlan from rooftops in Rio to the bright lights of New York City as his dancing talent, contagious spirit and relentless drive take him from studios to stages the great world over…at the ripe young age of 18.
This raw peak into the realities of pursuing your passion despite all odds gave me such a renewed perspective and appreciation for my own path towards dancing professionally…the support of friends and family not diminished in the least, as self determination and confidence can only carry you so far…Sacrifice is a common ground for most dancers, but the extent of which financial burdens, injuries, exposure, and timing present themselves can make or break a career that’s already seen as a rare opportunity for success.Inspired by the journey of Irlan, among so many other devoted artists/athletes I know, I thought I would just take this moment to thank those lovely people—family, friends, mentors, teachers, and fellow dancers—that have been integral in helping me pursue my own unique path across studios and stages… To the generous documenters of my journey, collaborators, photographers and artists in their own right, who have helped to capture precious moments once fleeting, now preserved……and of course to you beautiful readers who share these memories with me here on Tutus&Tea. I encourage you all to watch this moving documentary (now on Netflix!) of one dancer’s journey, filled with unnerving portrayals of sacrifice, family support, timing & talent.On a side note for those of you interested, I participated in a Dancer’s Webinar on eating for energy and injury prevention on The Whole Dancer last week ~ a lovely interview with former dancer and health coach Jess Spinner that you can listen to here :)
…and a generous thank you to Albert Ayzenberg, who danced around a misty morning in Central Park with me to gather these photos for his #BehindtheGlass series!
To every dedicated artist and athlete out there, let us continue to inspire one another with our unique stories, individual paths towards fulfillment, and endless journeys towards sharing and spreading Live Art. This is a gift.