Last week the Dance/NYC Junior Committee hosted a Center Line event at Gibney Dance entitled: Reclaiming Failure: Stories From the Dance Field. In this interactive Town Hall, an esteemed panel featuring Andrew Dinwiddie (Co-Curator of Catch), Sydnie Mosley (Artistic Director of Sydnie L. Mosley Dances), Brian Rogers (Artistic Director of the Chocolate Factory), and Becca Blackwell (Actor, Performer, Writer) shared and discussed how failure has influenced their work, their outlook, and career.
The panelists talked about how success and failure is a personal choice. You need to figure out your own goals and create your own scale. Our society tends to measure success based on money, but that may not be the number one goal when it comes to dance, but for the love of dance. Often times, we may be criticized for making art for art’s sake, but how is it different from working at a job and making money for money’s sake?
The panelists also talked about how there was a point in their lives where they had to make a decision of where to go from here. The crossroads can be interpreted as a failure to some people, but those decisions forever changed their careers and their lives and they would never go back.
For me personally, there was a time where I had to choose if I wanted to go back to the way of life that was familiar and actively pursue it or walk away from that life to a world of the unknown and start anew. It was a hard, but I chose to walk away and I know many of those part of my old life may look at me as a failure. And that’s ok! Looking back at the last two years of my life, I would never go back and it has forever changed me. I have grown in ways I couldn’t begin to imagine and done things I would never think I could including this blog. I love my life!
One thing that I walked away with is that there is no failure. People and society in general, may have preconceived ideas of what my life should look like. But if my path is different, it doesn’t make me a failure, but my unique self. However, true failure is never learning from your experiences.
Also, just because you may have to shift your goals in the process doesn’t make you a failure. Life is about adapting to change! Sometimes there are things out of your control that happen and you need to be open to go with the flow and be committed to yourself. Life is full of risks, it can be scary, but that’s ok. Just do it!
The Dance/NYC Junior Committee is a group of individuals between the ages of 21 and 30 consisting of New York-based dance artists, educators and administrators who seek to facilitate communication, raise awareness, re-energize, and serve our demographic to navigate in the field of dance. For more information about the Committee, please visit their website here!
If you are interested to join the committee, please click here to learn more!