I took this picture 8 Years ago at Jacob’s Pillow’s Jazz and Musical Theatre Intensive with the amazing Chet Walker.
A Truly life changing experience that has kept on creating more in my entire life.
During my dance education my arms were mostly judged and vilified as
“crooked” “ugly” “droopy” and “not right”
I had totally bought the belief my arms were ugly, which I had been using to not stretch out, not be different, not stand out as it didn’t fit the school standards
“we are not sure if your body is good enough for a professional dance career”
As a true ‘humanoid’ of course I did everything in my power to prove that that wasn’t true and I changed and kept on changing my body from a ‘broomstick’ into in everything that was required for all the different theatre jobs I had at many, many theatre shows that successfully followed.
And of course I kept on ‘AWing’ the school board during all of that 😝
Chet was the first person in my entire dance education that said:
“Merlijn, you have such amazing long and beautiful arms, you should use them”
A different point of view that totally changed my life and my reality with my body, that went beyond just hard work into acknowledging more greatness. Even if it was just a little crack in the door at that time.
Thank you Chet ❤️
Enough of the judgments of bodies.
So grateful for my body and its ability to move and dance and so grateful for the people that have inspired me to be and inspire myself.
What else is possible I haven’t considered yet?