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Youth have a right to a form of expression

Dancing was my way of life for about twenty years. Dance gave my life what at the moment I defined as “meaning”. Everything around me was better because I danced, I felt as though I was a better person because I danced. Its the best form of expression I´ve found, I used to dance flamenco, jazz and ballet.

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Dance taught me about discipline. It taught me that practicing the exact same movements every day, does make a difference. That learning technique is essential. That there is a good reason to wearing a uniform since you are young.

Dance taught me about respect. It taught me to respect my body, school, ballet masters, dancers, rhythm, musicians, the theatre.

Dance taught me about perseverance. In today´s life we look for fast results, for a quick 25-minute workout that will replace a 4hr daily one. Most worthy things in life require more than a couple minutes fix. If you want to dance you have to work everyday in order to improve your movements, your body, your ability to perform. There will never be a point where you stop practicing your technique, not even if you are a prima ballerina.

2011_05-paulina-1788 Dance taught me about friendship and competition. It´s not everyday that you compete that often with your friends, sometimes for a role, sometimes for a place in a choreography, but once they´ve been assigned, team work is always stronger than competition. I have people in my life that I never would´ve become friends with in the first place if it was´t because we had dance in common. Having such a strong passion though, creates a very strong bond between two people. Sharing a stage, an audience, a dressing room, are all wonderful experiences that we just never forget.

I have a severe back injury and I don´t dance anymore. When I first found out I couldn’t dance anymore I was incredibly depressed. I couldn’t see life beyond a dance floor, a stage; it was the only thing I could spend my whole day on without hesitation. I’m thankful I had that experience for so many years and I’ve struggled a lot to find something I’m that passionate about. I’m thankful for all the things I learned from dance, which I’ve translated into other areas of my life. I strongly believe that if it hadn’t been for dancing I would’ve struggled even more through adolescence.

Every young person should have a place to express him or herself, whether its through art, sports, community service, media, you name it.

Allow me to share with you a documentary I created a couple of years ago- Flamenco, a way of life– in it you will meet wonderful people that have been lucky enough to live their whole life doing what they are most passionate about: dance.

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