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it takes what it takes

it's Wednesday, let's write it.

I'm back and I'm better. Oh mama's ready, she's in with her first commissioned, contracted dance job since the pandemic stole what was rightfully mine, hell all of ours... our choices. I had chosen to leave every one and every thing behind, and go to the land of milk and honey to dance, and to be free.. all the while I've found out that I had to travel and fly those 6100 miles to realize I am always traveling on and in Holy Ground. But today, we're talking about specifically in the realm of dance. You see dance, especially classical dance ( and double esp ballet) has a bit of a toxic culture. Rejection is the trend and compassion is typically quiet. Yet this pandemic was loud and made all of us realize that we're literally all in this together, whether you're in a top 10 company or dance only when you're with your top 5.... we needed compassion, comfort and rest to be our friends in a way that's new to so many of us. I've taken so many zoom classes, but I've only had the pleasure of dancing in a studio maybe 5 times over the last year and half... coming off of spending 10 hours a day in the studio 6 days a week? I honestly... thought dance... in the way that I loved it, knew it, needed it, was over..... oh but baby... it takes what it takes.

She's back. For some, they are done. I've seen a plethora of full time dancers turn nurses, or doulas, or social workers, or go back to school for many things that encapsulate many things about dance like sharing, physical touch, communication, and even sometimes vulnerability, but there's one thing these new professions and potential callings cannot capture: dance... and I mean that literally. Oh I cannot describe the feeling of when you sail around so many times on one long that you lose count and get lost in the wonder. or the stillness you can fall into and feel like you're on another planet. or the vivid vulnerability and fleeting passion of communication without any words... It is only something you come to after you have done the work, to be a wise dancer... to know your body and your soul and to be able to apply and align then with and to movement? what a gift... and it takes what it takes...

After a year and a half, of being unclear where dance was headed in my life but needing it more than I had ever before, feeling underwhelmed with consistently taking ballet or improvisation in my studio apartment and now the living room of the home I own, and establishing my sanity, Jasmin is back to dance. I am a dancer in Links Labs, this amazing 2 week experience where one is paired with strangers to create an evening length work in 6 rehearsals. Shout out Links Hall for selecting, commissioning and securing space, moula and time for those of us selected. I am back in the gym on the daily, getting back into dancer athletic shape, at this speed, with THIS body that has carried me through one of the darkest times in history, with this self-compassion and self-love that allows me to take my time as build self and collaborative trust. I am back listening to and dreaming in music that activates the stuff in my bones. I'm back to feeling hopeful about my movement and choreographic progressions. I'm back to wanting to study dance, and brush up on my skills. and I'm back, with an inner strength and dominion like never before, that is about to catapult me further into my dance destiny....

I couldn't stay away, I can't stay away.. from any of it.. from ballet, modern in all it's various forms, contemporary ballet for the play, Afro-Caribbean for the homage it pays to my ancestors and my current body, jazz for it's excitement and play, theater for it's dramatization of real life, I mean swing for it's carefreeness I mean the list goes on and on... I can't stay away.. I mustn't... and I couldn't come back like this before this because.... it takes what it takes....

Mama's getting back into pilates during the week, class, dancing professionally, choreographing for commission and more... news is on the way... I'm so glad it's gone down the way it's gone down because I wouldn't be where I am right now if it didn't and I'm in exact position where I'm supposed to be for God to rocket launch me.... again, it takes what it takes.

Sending you love as you learn to HONOR and LOVE your process, it may not be dance, but remember no rushing. no shortcuts. there will be heart break. there will be doubt. there will be sorrow. but there will be joy, there will be love, breakthrough and most of all, an ending that facilitates a new beginning.. after all.. it simply... take....what.. it..takes. Glad to be back dancers, y'all not ready– but I am :)

With all of my love until next time,

Jasmin Dominique Taylor; Performing Artist– Dancer who made her way back.

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