Monday, October 27, 2008

Dancing is Like a Party to Music

So said my seven-year-old daughter to a new girl in her jazz class. Knowing my daughter and her love of words, music and dance, this didn't surprise me. However, the mother of the girl E was talking to was struck by it enough that she told her sister-in-law who came to me and asked if I'd heard my daughter's words.

I relayed the conversation and E's words to my youngest sister who said, "Wow. That's passion."

And that got me thinking.

What is it that makes a dancer work so hard for so long for so little encouragement? What drives an artist or musician to face criticism and critique, rejection and failure? How does a gymnast or a football player face physical pain, fear and heartache over and over again without quitting? What is it that compells a writer to write when her words may never be read, her story never told?

Is it only passion? To me passion is something that waxes and wanes. It may be there one day and not the next. What lives inside the person who is successful despite astounding odds is something different. Drive, determination and, most importantly, resiliancy. The person who continues to pursue his or her passion is the one who can take a punch, shrug it off and keep going. She is the person who works not just for the accolades and trophies, but for the sheer joy of self expression. She is the person who listens and learns, who is not afraid to fail because she understands that only in failing can she succeed.

That is passion. That is heart. That is courage. That is success.

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