Artists Careers

Popularity contest

One highly rewarding thing about being an artist is having a group of true fans that will always show up for you. It doesn’t mean you are popular, and being popular doesn’t always mean you are good.

The gold, the best stuff, the reason to keep going is the people who care about what you have to give. I take time to design my tap classes each week, and I take pride in the work I put into them. My classes weren’t packed in New York City, and less people signed up to perform my choreography in the showcases than the other choreographers on the bill. To me that made it more special. The dancers that were with me believed in my vision.

Popular does not equal best, and you don’t need everybody to love you. You need a consistent group of people that show up and believe in your ideas and your work.


Best-laid plans

Most of the time we are not good at planning our lives. We think that if we do this, that will happen, and we are fraught with worry about making the right decisions. Much of the time we are wrong, and then we keep doing it. It’s an unproductive feedback loop.

I wasn’t planning to be a dancer. I was going to be an engineer! Dancing was something I obsessively did, training as much as possible. The universe said, “nope.” I’m going to take you this way. And like that little feather in Forrest Gump, I went.

I once signed a yearlong contract to work in Dubai and was fired after 2 days of training and sent back to New York. The universe thought I didn’t really need to spend a year there. Next up, corporate America. Meh. As much as I tried to plan for another future, that wasn’t what I was supposed to be doing. “Dance”, she said.

The universe puts us where we need to be. I’m not sure where she’ll send me next, but I’ll keep dancing, educating and sharing my work, ready to be that little feather when the moment comes.