This semester has actually been hell.
I think the more I admit it, the better able I am to cope and accept it. Or maybe not. Either way it’s true. As I mentioned in my previous post, I started this semester off rigorously rehearsing for Sullivant’s Travels. What I didn’t mention that I was doing this while in the midst of my first few weeks as a Resident Advisor here at OSU and taking a full course load of 18 credit hours.
I don’t know what I was thinking when I was scheduling last year, but none of this was a good idea. My plate has been entirely too full. I have been going full throttle since before classes even started, since I was here weeks before Move In Day. This high-speed lifestyle has truly taken its toll on me both physically and mentally. I’ve been seriously ill more this semester than ever which has left me wishing desperately for the tangible presence of my family who I left at home in South Carolina nine hours away. Mentally, I’ve been struggling with a debilitating sense of homesickness like never before. Of course my personal life decided to really fall apart during the week of midterms for the two General Education courses I am taking as well. Those grades were subpar, and for my microeconomics class, still aren’t looking much better.
Poor academics have a extremely negative and discouraging effect on me as I have always been the one who does well despite the odds. I just feel as if I am doing nothing especially well this semester. It seems that everything is threatening to overwhelm me, and I am standing on the brink of being overcome by it all. There’s this thing called the “Sophomore Slump.” I’d venture to call it the “Sophomore Struggle” brought on by a large amount of stress induced by gross over-commitment.
And then, Ailey II came. The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and all of its affiliates have always been near and dear to my heart. They represent the pillar of black and dance excellence in so many ways. The thought of Ailey ignites a spark in me like few other things. The opportunity to take a master class with some of the phenomenal dancers of Ailey II was just what I needed. The classical Horton technique that they taught brought me back home to the studio with Ms. Lynn, my first modern teacher. The movement was a welcome change from the contemporary movement that I do daily.
After class, we were able to talk to the dancers about their real world experiences. They told us about touring, everyday schedules, outside work, taking care of our bodies, money… basically everything that we as undergraduate and aspiring professionals wonder about. What made it so effective was that these were young people that are living the life we dream of now. They weren’t graduate students that have been there and done that. They are presently living my dreams.
I left renewed. Filled with excitement. Reinvested in my purpose and path here at OSUdance. I got my second wind. Watching the Ailey II company performing later that evening, I was reassured that this is what I want to do with my life. I want to be on stage and bring young people the joy that Ailey brings me. Maybe not in the same way, but in the manner that God has set forth for me to do.
Next week, the Department has its annual fall performance, Dance Downtown, and I will be performing in one of the pieces. I have new-found enthusiasm and look forward to leaving my mark on the audience.
Thank you to Ailey II for coming and imparting with me, and an even bigger thank you to my God for being right on time.
For more info on Dance Downtown, visit dance.osu.edu/events/dance-downtown.
Love, Light, and Blessings.