Devon Teuscher: American Ballet Theatre principal.
Every summer I like to visit my sister and nieces. While 1 was there last year, my niece was making some challenging decisions. She had been dancing at a school with a small competition team and couldn't figure out if she wanted to continue. Over the last year, she felt she had lost her joy for dance. I asked her what she loved most about it. After listing many pros and cons, she told me that she loved performing best of all.
When I was younger, I thought the same thing. The opportunities to be onstage were few and far between, which made them that much more special. The feeling was so exhilarating yet so fleeting.
It wasn't until the past few years that my perspective shifted. I have come to recognize how much I absolutely love the day-to-day of what I get to do. I love coming into the studio every morning and being so in tune with my body. I love the community. There is a real sense of family, trust and love. I can honestly say that I learn something new every single day. The act of digging into one single step or phrase for days or weeks is so exciting to me. Though the high of performing is still very much a large part of why I dance, I feel so lucky that I now love the "daily grind" of what I do as well.
As it turns out, my niece decided to continue dancing, but transferred schools. Interestingly, her new school offers fewer performing opportunities. I have hope that she too will discover the joy of the studio.