The Hard Work of Making Something Beautiful

Once upon a time, I danced. Well, you can find me dancing often. (When I can’t pray words, I’ll sing or dance or stretch.)  From 3 to 17, I was in classes: ballet (mostly), tap, jazz, modern. It provided a grounded assurance to my life; a regular place to go and be, especially as a teenager. Even with all those years, I’d never consider myself very “good.” It wasn’t because I didn’t work really hard or enjoy it. Maybe it was a bit of the lack-of natural physical talent thing and the fact that I have a terrible time memorizing. I’m beyond clumsy; more than once managing to create a domino effect with the apples in the grocery store. I still don’t know my times tables but tell me a story and I’ll likely never forget.

Ballet taught how important the body is; that standing with your shoulders back and down can help you walk into any situation with poise, even when your heart and mind are doing somersaults. Ballet taught me many lessons. Here are six that are pretty well summed up with the photo below by Jordan Matter. His photography moved me to think today.

1. Anything beautiful in this world comes into being after hard work.

2. Hard work doesn’t always end up with something beautiful, but it still matters.

3. Most people will never see the hours and hours and hours that it takes to create something meaningful.

4. It’ll get dirty, ugly, and painful to make the wild eyed dreams we have come true.

5. You must let go of or have taken from you certain ideas (or toenails!); allowing sacrifice to open the door for greater creation.

6. Be flexible. Have an incredibly strong core.

Jordan Matter’s photo in the Series: Dancers Among Us

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