Location: NYC, Rhode Island
One of my go-to TED talks is by author Elizabeth Gilbert on nurturing creativity. In it she mentions the “Ole” moment of when an artist, a dancer in her example, transcends space and time as we know it and connects to a Greater Source, showering the audience with indescribable lift and alignment with something our minds alone cannot comprehend. This experience is not for the dancer, but of the dancer and of the audience. We don’t have to share the same opinions to share the same purpose, perhaps a subconscious reason why we gather at theatrical events and concerts. Melody excavates for those “Ole” moments, for this symbiotic purpose. I’ve had the honor of participating in Melody’s audience, and I can say with confidence that, if passion is an art, Melody is master.
“When you asked me this question my first response was because I get to jump, turn and flow around my house. Quickly following, the emotions and gratitude for dance just poured. I know what I feel, but how on earth could I show the world – these feelings into words? How do I show you what I am feeling? This, this is why I dance.
Dance allows me to see “the forest from the trees”. Dance is my means of communication. It’s how I connect and spread love, compassion and peace. It’s how I cope with trauma or maneuver through the twists and turns of life, question the world, keep myself curious, embrace change rather than fear it, lose control, find my chosen family, touch the lives of others, witness the reward of sharing art with other human beings, watch others blossom their inner self, find out who I truly am, make mistakes and be accepting of them, explore, appreciate the smallest joys and presents of life, be open, be tolerant, not judge others but embrace them, to never ever give up, and love myself…to name a few.
When you have a passion, an item in your life that is your oxygen, you stop at nothing to make sure it stays alive. It teaches drive and determination and the age old never-ever-ever-give-up mentality.
At the age of 2, I started begging my mother to let me dance, and after potty training proved successful, at 2 1/2 I began my first dance lessons. Within the first few weeks, I was pulled out of class by my teacher. She claimed I had “ no talent” and I was not “fit for dance”. Yes, I was 2/12. So, there I stood pink tights and tutu, crying my eyes out. Thankfully, another brave teacher welcomed me into her class with open wings, and I never looked back. Those judgmental people constantly challenged my dancing career. Constant judgements from not having enough turn out to being called too curvy and fat. But yet I pressed on. My point is this – The one thing is l will always have is heart – and with this heart I know I can make a difference. A difference in myself, my community and ultimately the world. I love to dance, but what I love even more is the positive ripple effect it has on the world around me. It’s like throwing a stone in a lake, its effect is endless. And my goal is to pass along a loving, compassionate, peaceful wake behind me.
Dance has saved my life, and I believe art can save the world. I want to be apart of that army. Art is love. I still have hope.”
Photographer: Lona Wofsey of Blueye Images