May Update (A dance conversation that made me cry)
Happy May! Below is my update from the past month.
Memorable teacher-student moment A conversation that brought tears to our eyes: One of my students came in for her last private session for her upcoming solo performance. She shared her insecurities around performing and how she feels her dance compares poorly to others'. I helped her see how she can never compare herself to another because what she has to offer the world (and our audience) is way too unique. Her dance has grace, elegance, pain, maturity. Other peoples' dances may be loud, fun and joyful. It simply cannot be compared because each of them have to offer something uniquely beautiful and it would be such a disservice to change that. How she dances is simply incredible and I personally can't take my eyes off of her when she dances. She sat silently for a few seconds and as she tried to control her tears she said "Ms. Amna I just feel so grateful because I have never had a teacher like you." Oh my goodness, my heart turned to mush and tears poured and poured. What a deep soul she has. This is the first time a student so openly and bravely shared her vulnerabilities around dance with me and because of her courage, we were able to connect in an incredibly meaningful way. I couldn't thank her (and her parents) enough for this moment. I will never forget it. Story I am pondering A Grain as Big as a Hen’s Egg by Leo Tolstoy. This story blew my mind because it revealed that not much has changed since the 1800's, in terms of how societies evolve and the effect it has on our food, health and so much more. If you are new to Tolstoy, I would recommend starting with The Three Questions (this is the story that made me want to read more of his work). His book, Walk in the Light and Twenty Three Tales has quickly made me understand why Tolstoy is considered one of the greatest novelists of all time. His stories are "realistic" fiction and centered around morality and consciousness. They carry so much depth and insight about life's truths that although I don't agree with everything he says, his words have made me think and feel in ways I didn't before. Heads up! His stories do carry undertones of Christianity but if you are able to view them as universal values it shouldn't bother you. Something new I created To enroll or not to enroll. This isn't technically "new" as I wrote this last year but it is relevant to this period in our lives as we make decisions on summer camp classes and what not. Something I am grateful for Support. Asking for money is something that makes my insides cringe. I have never asked for sponsorship for any of our past shows but this year I made it one of my personal goals. I remember the day I sent a handful of emails to friends and families to see if anyone could potentially connect me with someone who would like to support our show this year. My heart was beating so fast. I was so nervous and uncomfortable. And to my surprise, I received an email back confirming sponsorship with an incredibly generous amount within minutes of sending out my last email. Since then, I have received a total of six sponsors for our upcoming show as well as numerous resources and advice. I cannot tell you how grateful that made me feel. To know that I am supported by so many of you has made me cry tears of gratitude several times. I feared that I would send this email and no one would reach out. I feared you may think this or that of me. And you proved those fears wrong. You taught me to love myself and what I do a little bit more. Thank you so much for that. You are all in my prayers every single day. New things I am learning & processing When you are too much in your head, get into your body. My wise sister shared these words with me the other day and they haven't left me. Often times, when I am spiraling in a thought or feeling, I think of her words and try to get out of my head and into my body by going for a walk, doing the dishes, dancing with the kids. And man oh man, has that helped me. I hope you try it too.