Sustaining a career in dance takes focus, discipline, energy—and bravery. In this issue, we have at least several examples of the kind of courage that a dancer needs.
Since every dancer incurs an injury at some point, you need to have the courage to work through it, no matter how long that takes. New York City Ballet’s Jennie Somoygi spent more than a year working on a foot injury that was so bad she was told she might not even walk again. In “Will and Grace,” Astrida Woods describes how Somogyi has returned to the stage with a new freedom, a new physicality, and a new fearlessness.
It takes a different kind of courage to leave your homeland and come to the United States seeking a career in dance. Such a decision means not only leaving your family, but plunging into the unknown in terms of career goals and social life. It means living on the edge in a way that most Americans don’t experience. We all have been in class or rehearsal with dancers from other countries, but we don’t always know the hardships they’ve been through. Nancy Alfaro’s story, “All You Need Is a Green Card and a Dream,” highlights not only their hardships but also the cultural richness that immigrants bring into our world today.
Another kind of trial by fire is putting yourself at the mercy of the vast TV-viewing audience at the same time that you are judged by supremely jaded professionals. In Fox’s top-rated television show So You Think You Can Dance, thousands of young hopefuls vie for a moment in the sun—or glare—of both the judges and the TV voters. Are they brave or naive? Read “Dancing Inside the Box” to get acquainted with six of the young dancers who cast their fate with this show.
All these forms of bravery stem from one thing: an absolute sureness that dancing is what you want to do. If you’re wavering, you will not have the bravery—or the focus, discipline, or commitment. But then again, if you weren’t absolutely sure, you might not be reading Dance Magazine this minute.
Editor in Chief