Sometimes, Facebook is used for trivial musings about what happened today or what you had for lunch. Other times, Facebook can become a platform for thoughtful discussions and sentiments that bond a community. The latter is what happened today when studio owner, choreographer, and master instructor, Emily Shock, posted the following on her Facebook page:

“whenever i go to dance conventions, it is the only time i am around dance and not busy teaching. so, i tend to listen to conversations around me because i am just sitting there. and i hear moms talking about other kids and how they are getting undeserved attention. or how a certain dancer ALWAYS wins something. and how their kid has been taking private lessons and working so hard and is not getting the credit they deserve. i hear this all the time. everywhere. i often hear teachers blamed for giving certain kids more attention. or better choreography. and i just want to stop the strangers, or comment on a facebook post, or tap a mom on a shoulder and say… hey, the problem is… no amount of money or time or sweat can make you or your child live someone else’s dream. that’s the problem. we all have dreams and paths only meant for us. and if we constantly try to fit in to some idea of perfection or fame that someone else has created… and if we constantly put all of our resources and effort into that, what happens to our dream? what happens to what we, specifically, were made for?

i don’t know if that makes sense. but not every dancer in the world is meant to have straight, thin, long, flexible legs and be graceful and textbook technically perfect. they are not. but we work on these things because they are a part of the art we love… if it is indeed the art you love. not every dancer in the world has a creative or sensitive enough soul to do original and interesting, groundbreaking choreography. they don’t. but they choreograph anyway and they get better and better at it because it is the art they love. but they do not try to be someone else.

and we work, and we explore, and we wait for our moments, and we create our moments, and we listen to ourselves. don’t get jealous. don’t look at someone else and try to live their dream. if they are living their dream, it is just more proof to you that all of our dreams are achievable too. but unhappiness usually comes when you try to become something that you are not meant to become. we are all unique and different and even if the world sees in black and white, we are never limited to that. unless we make ourselves believe that we are limited to that.” — Emily Shock

Emily’s words are powerful and true. If everyone subscribed to the beliefs that she describes, couldn’t the dance industry be even more amazing? I think so.

Emily Shock is the Owner and Director of Applause Studios in Oklahoma City and  the coach of the national champion dance team “Westmoore”. In 2010, Emily’s choreography was recognized at the Capezio A.C.E. Awards in New York City.  She is a renowned choreographer and master instructor that firmly believes in providing opportunities for dancers to make a living doing what they love in the place that they love.