“The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” – Mark Twain
I have always loved dance. I am not a great dancer myself (I do alright) but I’ve always loved watching it. All kinds. Mock me all you want but one of my favourite TV shows ever was ‘So you think you can dance?’. I don’t watch it anymore, but used to watch it all the time… with my husband. He is not really keen on ballet or contemporary dance but he loves street dance, hip-hop, break-dance, that sort of thing. Me too, I absolutely love it. So we’ve started going to live shows; every time we hear there’s some new hip hop/ break/ street dance show in town we book it straight away. And we’ve seen some really great stuff (highly recommend: Into the Hoods and Diversity).
Not too long ago we went to see Diversity live, for the first time. In case you don’t know Diversity are a dance crew who won ‘Britain’s Got Talent‘ a few years ago. We were really excited to see all their amazing choreographies live and to try (and fail) to mimic their awesome dance moves; what we didn’t expect was a motivational and inspirational show, with really powerful messages about life and fulfilling your dreams.
The show was called ‘Diversity: up-close and personal’, and that’s exactly what we got; other than the amazing dance moves, we got to meet the crew, and go behind the scenes of Diversity, learn their stories, the challenges they had to overcome, how they all came together, and how they made it.
Throughout the show, Ashley Banjo, kept repeating their motto: Dream. Believe. Achieve. He was born into Dancework’s studios, and his passion for dance begun quite early on. And he dreamt about creating unbelievable choreographies, challenging himself to the next level. He worked hard every day and never stopped believing they could make it, they could live of what they most loved to do.
One of the most amazing stories was Perri’s. Perri was a shy kid; didn’t talk to anyone, didn’t like talking to other kids at all, school was fine but it was ‘just another thing’. He was an easy target to get picked on. He went to the shopping with his mum one day and Diversity were performing there. His life changed. He joined the Dancework studios, and changed completely. It turns out, he was a dancer. Pretty soon he was confident, and.. he was talking. He was invited to join Diversity and remains to this day one of the most impressive dancers in the crew.
Hearing his story I couldn’t help but thinking: what if he had never found out that? What if he hadn’t gone to the shopping that day? What if he had never seen Diversity life? How many children are being labeled as ‘weirdos’ or ‘hyperactive’ who are quite possibly just an amazing artist? What if they never find that out?
I admire, and envy (slightly) people who know – people who find out the ‘why’ quite early on in their lives. Because I am all up for ‘Dream. Believe. Achieve.’ But you have to know what your dream is first.
For some that is quite clear, they know that that is it. For some it changes often, but that’s OK too, because I don’t think we’re all just meant for one thing. For others like me, it’s more of a process, a journey of discovery. For me it’s still about finding that why.
I used to be really upset about this, about not knowing; upset as in I would cry and feel so restless, I would almost have panic attacks. Now I don’t know why, I am much calmer about it. I understand that for me it may just be about the journey. I am after all a very happy person. So I don’t battle with myself on this anymore. I am exploring and will continue to, and hopefully one day I’ll find out what my why is. Meanwhile I’ll just be happy about who I am now and be the best I can be at whatever I am doing.
But do me a favour: if you do know the ‘why’, if you do have a dream, don’t ever give up on it. Don’t let anyone, mostly yourself, throw you down. Believe you can make it. Work hard, because nothing good ever comes without effort, and you will Achieve. Who knows, maybe you’re the next amazing dancer who will be inspiring us on stage; maybe you’ll be the number one artist on all charts; maybe you’ll be saving lives; maybe you’ll be running a happy home… whatever it is, the world will be a much better place for it.