Recently, I have been asked about my relationship to my life as a mother and an artist. In some specific cases attributes of being single and African-American have made the inquiries even more specific. The questions have lead me to analyze my role and come to the conclusion that mothering and artistry go hand in hand.
Mothers create life, nurture understanding, facilitate growth, and deny themselves for the greater good of a life they deem more valuable than their own.
Artists give life to work, share their visions to promote deeper understandings, delve deep into process to build products of perspective, and deny themselves for the greater good of the work.
I was asked what tools I have taken from my life in dance into my role as a mother and the most prominent tool is discipline. My training as a dancer offered me the structure I needed to build a capable body, mind and spirit. The discipline of dance taught me to deny my fears and strive for my passion no matter what I "felt" like. Rehearsals taught me that there is power in repetition if we submit to the ritual, and within that submission there is strength. As a mother, I offer this discipline to my son by being consistent and creating structures that give him the courage to pursue his life passionately yet boundaries that keep him growing in the right direction.
In addition to discipline, trust is also a huge factor in my professional and personal life. On stage trust equals authentic performance. I have always trusted God to dance me on stage and do what I knew was not in my power. In my role as a single parent I trust that God will provide for my son that which I cannot. Each decision I make in regard to his well-being is one of faithful assurance that all my experiences and training are valid and valuable. This is the same decision making process I learned as a performer, choreographer and teacher. Trusting God allows me to trust the process, which allows for greater possibilities. Therefore, I trust the outgrowth of my artistry and the upgrowth of my son.
Check out the FIRST #SydChats: TRIUMPHS AND CHALLENGES OF BLACK MOTHERS WHO ARE DANCE ARTISTS
Photo of Gabe and I accompanied this article:
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