Independence Day… At the birth of our nation, it was declared that all should have equal rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Not that these rights have been offered to everyone even in our own country since that great Declaration… It has been and continues to be a struggle to grant those equal rights to each and every human. But that these words lie at the bedrock of our young country is a source of hope – an ideal towards which we must continue to strive.
Independence. It is what every artist seeks in order to create their art. Often on the fringes of society, artists push the boundaries of the community comfort zone, alerting others to what is just outside their daily range of experience or on the edges of their sightlines. Changes in society can often be fore-shadowed by the artists of the day.
Independence. It is what every teenager yearns towards. That freedom to discover and become who they wish to be, that freedom from the constraints of parental rules, freedom to drive, to live on their own. As parents, we prepare our children for their personal Independence Day by nurturing and loving them, teaching them what we think is important, instilling confidence, allowing them to make inevitable mistakes and feel the consequences, and eventually letting go and standing by in the wings – ready to help if we are needed.
Independence. It is a teacher’s goal for her students, a choreographer’s goal for his dancers. My hope for my students and my dancers is that they find the ability to step beyond what has been taught to them in the studio, jete and pirouette into their own expressions to share their abundant beauty of spirit with the world.
May your Independence Day be full with Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness and the effort to share this ideal with all humanity.