I fell asleep last night listening to Maya Angelou’s poem “Still I Rise.” What caught my attention was her use of words and how they seem to be so reverent and timely. One of the things I interpreted from Miss Angelous poem was Perseverance, which is defined as “steadfastness in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success.” Perseverance is what gets us to where we want to go and keep us there.
We all will have obstacles in our lives over the years, but need to keep moving forward, striving to reach and perfect our goals, never settling. I’ve had injuries, costume malfunctions, travel problems, partner problems, routine problems, you name it, And Still I Rise. Never give up on your dreams.
Winston Churchill said:
“If you are going through hell, keep going.”
“Never, never, never give up”
“Success in not final. Failure is not fatal, it is the courage to continue that counts.”
“To improve is to change, so to be perfect is to change often”
So I started thinking about the words from the poem “Still I Rise,” which for me translated to And Still I Rise, but why do I Still Rise?
Habit for one I guess. Since I decided to become a Dancer, its been my life, all my life. Studying, practicing, working out and eating right. And then there are the outside influences like TV commercials, magazine articles and advertisements for keeping in shape with dieting and exercise, which even led me to buy an exercise trainer so I could continue to work out at home. Even though I am for the most part retired from Competition Dancing, I still do as I did to stay in shape and active in the dance field.
I equate my life to Acts in a Play.
Act 1: At age sixteen I won a beauty pageant-talent contest which led to a scholarship to the Hart Modeling Agency where I got experience in TV spokesperson, fashion, commercials, make-up, and ended up choreographing our graduation show. Some time later the director of the Hart Modeling Agency asked me to teach some classes in movement, poise and runway walk at the Mary French Dance Studio, where I learned about Bob Medeiros, who I ended up studying under and later dancing with.
Act II: After years of training and competing, I was a Dance Champion, winning awards from 1978 – 1994, touring the world dancing and choreographing. I was blessed to have worked with and became lifelong friends with Bob Medeiros, who with his dance partner Sheryn Hawkins were the First Official United States International Latin Style Champions in 1971.
And Still I Rise
Act III: I’m finally feeling confident and at peace with myself, looking back at my accomplishments and starting to give back to life. I was and still am very driven. As a former Dance Champion I’m still active in the Dance Community, participating in events, teaching, keeping tabs on the latest trends, and of course still dancing and working out.
Act IV: The final act. I’ve made a name for myself in the Dance Field, and hope my life makes a positive difference and motivates others to do the right thing while in search of and obtaining their goals.
So in keeping with the faith and trust in the Divine, which I believe is my TRUE motivator, I continue to deposit into my emotional and spiritual bank account to use for my continued lessons and experiences to come. Today, the only thing I seem to need is The Divine, my dog, and of course coffee!
And Still I Rise!