I haven’t posted to my blog for a while and there is reason for that: I had a summer I was unprepared for. And for my own organizational purposes I wanted to write my blog posts in chronological order, meaning that I can not write all about my second-year experiences until I write about my summer (posts about sophomore year to come). I could have easily skipped over this post but my summer has been a part of my growth, and it will be beneficial for me to see my thoughts played out through this medium.
I came out of my first year of college completely exhausted. I had gained a head full of knowledge, moved as much as I could, and learned about all sorts of mind-boggling applications for dance. I do not regret wearing myself down. I went into the summer with a need for some good weeks of mindful rest, but I was otherwise prepared for spending most of my time at American Dance Festival. What I was not prepared for was a hip injury that would keep my from dancing. And thus began my summer of rest. My injury was small, a minor strain in my hip flexor, but it threatened to become a much larger issue if I did an intensive 6-weeks at ADF, as was my plan. So I decided to preserve my body for a lasting future in dance, a smart choice I think, and stay home to work.
Soon after I was given the “all-clear” to begin to take class again, I was told that I needed to have my wisdom teeth removed. I had not planned for this, but it needed to be done so I surrendered to another month of bed rest and low activity. My self-confidence went down as my body got used to sitting on the couch and I faced the reality that coming into this school year would be a rough transition, both physically and mentally. I do however feel that my couch-sitting experience was beneficial, and just one that will inform me for years to come. Through this time I acknowledged a wavering in my confidence, but I accepted, indeed was excited to, push myself in the beginnings of my second year to get back to my end-of-first-year self. Through a summer of work and minimal activity I came to better appreciate the large amount of physical movement that occurs in the dance field. Sitting out, and taking the longest break from dance I had had in years, took its toll but the absence of physical practice from my daily life was a great reminder of the passion I have for movement.
To satisfy my need for action, I dabbled in photography, in which I captured the nature around Oak Park, IL and Grand Beach, MI which inspired me (click here
to see gallery post). I also took to working as an intern for the Oak Park and River Forest Chamber of Commerce doing administrative work as well as web analyzing and graphic design. Through my internship I became knowledgeable about web presence and business versus self-marketing, I created materials for advertising, and I interacted with the issues faced in a small town with competitors in both big and small business. All of this I will use. All of this is beneficial to know as an emerging dancer who seeks to know the movement as well as the desk side of dance today.
So while my 2015 summer was mentally challenging, due to the lack of physicality, I am grateful for my experiences. I came out of my break with a strong drive to move and an excitement to learn more, both which would carry my through what is known to be, the ever invigorating yet truly exhausting, “sophomore hell”.