Twenty years ago, on the fourth floor of a steamy dance studio in NYC, I had just finished teaching my high-energy jazz class. I smiled at my sweat-drenched students as they were shuffling out of the studio. They looked exhausted but content, having quite literally left it all on the dance floor. Some took the time to thank me for the class on their way out while others rushed away to their next class, audition, or survival job. I admired the way they cobbled together their days, which fluctuated and flowed between big dreams and huge disappointments. Cuts and callbacks, inspiration and perspiration. Their stamina was indefatigable on the dance floor and in their determination and passion for what they did. On this particular day, I noticed one student lingering behind as I packed up my things. “What’s up?” I asked her, hoping that everything was okay. I had known her for almost a year by then and saw her at least three times a week. She was on...
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