After the mania that occurred from last years touring and producing, having two months off has been a bit of a godsend. It has allowed to me to refocus myself and decide on what I wanted out of life and burlesque. It has made me realize two things in particular though. Number one: It’s important to take a break, even from the things you are most passionate about, to review, refocus, and reinvigorate your passion. And number two: It’s important to do the things you love.
Over the last month I have shut my studio, changed the dates of the New Zealand Burlesque Festival, and decided what it was that I wanted to achieve with my own personal burlesque. I feel lighter for making decisions on things that involve educating and helping others, knowing that I can focus only on myself for a while. I’ve realised that I can’t continue to help others if I am not educating myself, not pushing myself, and am essentially burnt out from giving too much of myself to others. Focussing on my own performance career and my own personal development is not selfish. It’s self-care. Self-care really is important. Especially where there is so much hard work required to make it in the world of the arts, let alone life. It’s reassuring to be okay with the concept of “taking time for me”. I couldn’t have done this without the break to analyse things.
On the flipside, it has made me realise how important burlesque is to my life. I need to dance. I find that the time spent dancing, be it on stage or rehearsing, I forget about the cares of the world and anything and everything becomes possible. It lifts my spirit, helps me fly, and gives me an emotional and creative outlet. I don’t need to have anyone to do it (although of course an audience always helps 😉 ), it is not for ego, but for self-esteem. Dance will always be there for me. Even if I am unable to see, unable to walk, unable to move, there are ways we can dance. It is an act of the soul, not of the physical. It is important that I do this thing that heals me and brings me such joy. It makes me feel as if I am in fact living and not just existing. What has been challenging, is to stop apologising for that.
So here it is. No apologies. No shame. No regrets. 2016 is going to be a big year. I will not be teaching regularly. I will not be producing hard out. I will be selecting carefully how I spend my time. I will be travelling. I will dance through this life. I will dance through the joys. I will dance through the sorrows. But I will dance. I only hope you all will join me with your own dance.