Let’s “Prince” It…


It can’t be…

It’s impossible..

These are the quick messages that my brain was creating when I learned of the news of Prince. I was getting my hair cut – and the receptionist came over and told us that she heard confirmation that Prince was no longer with us. At first, I thought she was possibly talking about her dog. The vision of a very large dog hovered in my brain and sat there for a moment. What a great name for a dog I thought. But, as fast as my brain thought it was a dog, it was even faster at realizing who she was REALLY talking about. Silence fell over the salon, and you could hear a pin drop.

After some time, slowly and ever so gently we started to talk again. In a whisper we talked about our disbelief… about how could it have possibly happened… that we thought he was healthy… The restlessness in our hearts enveloped us like a bubble. We couldn’t seem to get past the denial, and we wanted to stay in our little bubble until someone told us it was a joke. But this was no joke. Our conversations slowly morphed from how this could have happened, to what an influence he had on our young lives. He was a pivotal figure in my generation – well  – in many generations.

As dancers, wow, who hasn’t done a dance to Baby, I’m a Star or Let’s Go Crazy?? Whenever I found myself with an energetic group of young girls to choreograph for, my goto was Baby, I’m a Star. So powerful in it’s energy and pace. And then pull out When Doves Cry for the older dancers – total opposite feel but with the same power to motivate and generate emotions.

But Prince was more than his music. He embodied and fought for being true to oneself, fought for artistic control, and fought outside pressure to conform. I learned from him that being an artist doesn’t mean you are just like everyone else. BEING AN ARTIST MEANS YOU ARE LIKE NO ONE ELSE.

In dance, I see this “giving in” and conforming. If one group is wearing their hair a certain way, well then other groups want to wear their hair that same way. If a competition dancer is doing 2nd turns in their dance, then other competition dancers want to do 2nd turns in their dance. If one group is following the new choreography trend, so will others.

At times I feel that the artistic side of dance has fallen away or given in to the athletic side of dance. Sure, I love some great feet and flexibility – and amazing turns and leaps. But in my little corner of the world, dance is first and foremost an art. So when a dance group walks onstage and choses artistry over tricks, it really is something to behold. When the audience is moved to joy or sadness, dance truly is making an impact on lives.

Let’s embrace the influence of Prince on artistry in our own lives. Let’s create what is inside of us rather than regurgitating what we see outside of us. Let’s be bold and try new things. Let’s enjoy the process rather than only enjoy hitting the goal.

In other words “let’s Prince it”.

Spread Love