Responses to Thoughts of 1st February 2006
Dear Boris, Please pass on to Vadim. The answers are simple and clear. There is no right and wrong just what is right for you, and what you feel. Follow your heart allways. Believe in yourself. It is the trueth. Regards Glen.
Dear Boris, Vadim,
Thank you for sending me the thoughts of Vadim. I had the chance to explore vadim’s mind as well as my own as a result. wow… I am speechless. It is a very thoughtful work. I have written a response to Vadim’s writing and would like to share it with you as well, as I am fond of deep thinking and sharing it!
Vadim has a mind of activity and analysis, where simple material and surface experience do not satisfy his hunger for a fulfilling inner life.
The realization that external events are not necessarily followed by inner reactions prompt us to question their importance and value. For the most part, I have come in contact with a more shallow type of person than Vadim, who doesn’t see past what is laid out in front of him; especially in the dance world. And this to me was always discouraging and spiritually draining. Vadim’s questioning essay almost brought me to tears, as I was able to relate almost 100%. I never knew Vadim had such concerns about dance and life…and to read them so clear in front of me was a pleasure. It made me realize that my attitude wasn’t as uncommon or as negative as I thought it was. I have been questioning deeply my path and the reason I continue to dance, despite the desire and opportunity to pursue other goal(s). And like Vadim, I too imagined at first that climbing to a high level or even becoming a champion of dance would be grand and satisfying. I soon realized this is not the case. Champions come and go like whispers and are not leading the glamorous lives we once perceived they’d have a right to. Even Hazel Newberry, for many years a world champion seemed instantly forgotten once she discontinued to dance. Discouraging? Perhaps it is at first. But when we inquire further, we come to realize that this is quite the same no matter what great achievements one desires to achieve, be they in academics, sports, whatever. If one aims for the external impact or the “promised” happiness of attaining a certain goal, one can be greatly disappointed. I have experienced this many times. I have always sought after some great goal or another and I still do. I seem to believe that with the achievement of the goal, my emptiness and doubts will be fulfilled. It is not the goal, however, that I am looking for. It is an inner stability, peace and satisfaction that come with self-acceptance that I so vainly seek. I have now learned that only from the inside, can I ever start to achieve my ultimate goal of inner strength. And so I come to wonder “why then, am I spending so much energy and life on getting recognition and admiration from the dance community, when all I truly wish for is a healthy sense of self?
The illusion that we can be accepting of ourselves once we are accepted by those we look up to, can be a mission similar to that of chasing a shadow. You will not please everyone, and at the end of the day you are left with only yourself to answer to. If you ignore yourself and attempt to become what you think others will be pleased with, you are guaranteed to fall apart. You are the only one you should please. There is no satisfaction in other people regarding you as “great”. Maybe at first it is thrilling, but it is a cheap thrill which doesn’t last and leaves you craving more. Becoming world champion may be an end result of a goal to express through the body and music. A love of life may lead to a love of dance, and a love of dance can propel one to become dedicated and persistent. This form of expression can be addictive, and we are endlessly curious how far we can push ourselves to improve or discover “how high we can fly”. Also, there is magic that sparks in the relationship between partner and partner, you & the audience and you & yourself. The by-product is inspiration to others and our own susceptibility to inspiration from others. This inspiration is motivation is thus self-fulfilling, and the dance becomes our vision, rather than 30 seconds on a podium. Once there, those 30 seconds can be a moment to look back at your spiritual journey as a dancer/artist, and you are emotionally involved in the (final) magical moment, where audience, panel, self and partner share in the joy of life and the gifts we are given each day (like the opportunity to dance).
This is what I see as a goal. It is the same physical act of winning we described earlier, but the impact of the event on our inner selves is more than satisfying. It is beyond mere satisfaction. The first place no longer matters. Satisfaction becomes a lifestyle, and anything else that appears is simply a part of a special experience in itself. So who cares whether or not young and old dancers alike talk about us with admiration and jealousy. We are whole, and not with hungry souls. That is what matters. There is no one in the world that can watch a performance of such magic and not be enthralled and moved by it too. Like I said, there are many champions who come and go. It is not the mark that makes the dancer. It is the energy of the mind, and the cultivation of that mysterious, delicate, rare, but truly inbred zeal for love and life each one of us carries.