I have always felt that going to a dance studio was like going home for me. So much of my life has happened on taped-down marley. I’ve gathered floor burns and bruises while I rid my mind of the day’s adventures. I’ve laughed and rejoiced and let my body make conversation. I’ve made countless friends and told countless stories on countless studio floors. It simply always feels like home.

And while class is absolutely necessary and can teach you so much, there is something magical about being in a studio by yourself – the quiet, the calm, the literal blank page patiently waiting for you to add your personalized inscription.

I went to the studio alone today for the first time in a while. I have a blossoming idea, and when I opened the door to the studio this morning, that’s literally all I had. I didn’t have music or movement. But you know what else I didn’t have? Boundaries. And that thrilled me.

The first thing I did to start my new project was pray. I prayed with gratitude for being given such a beautiful gift in life, for the opportunities I’ve encountered to pursue and share it, and for the untold story that would develop. Then I ran – arms open like a little kid playing “airplane.” I’m serious. Not only did it get my heart rate up, but it reminded me that I was alone and free to do whatever the artist within me wanted to do. It also just made me laugh because it was really fun, and how often do we fly around like airplanes anymore? You should try it soon. But I digress…

After I ran, I started to move. I didn’t give myself any prompts at first. I just moved and translated the music into movement. And I kept moving. And then when I liked something, I’d pause and try to repeat it and see how I could organically move out of that. And then I’d translate the music again. Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

This may sound boring to you, or if you’re a dancer and have also done this many times in your life, it doesn’t sound all that mind-blowing. That’s because it isn’t really mind-blowing. But it is inspiring. And it is freeing. And it is the start of something new.

I went into a quiet studio this morning with the bud of an idea and came out with the first few petals beginning to unfurl.  I created a few phrases, a lot of throwaway, and even more ideas.

When I turned off the lights to leave, I was excited. And while I would soon share my excitement with others, I let myself bask in it alone for a little while first.

There’s a story inside that is waiting to be told, and I’m starting to learn what it is I will tell.

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