This I Believe

Jessica - Emmaus, Pennsylvania
Entered on April 21, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: creativity
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I believe that everyone needs to have the ability to fully express him or herself and have peace of mind. Therefore, it is necessary for all people to use art in their life. With the help of art, one can truly rejuvenate the soul and express their inner most, secretive thoughts. Expression through art is practically therapy since a person can portray what is really in one’s heart in a comfortable setting. I use dance as my form of expression, and it has helped me get through some of the most tormenting times of my life.

When I was two years old, my dad signed me up for dance classes at the local dance studio. I was scared out of my mind to have my parents leave and have to wait for them by a window to come back. In fact, when I first started dancing, my parents weren’t allowed to leave. They needed to watch me the entire time through that window. Over time, I wanted them to stay, but not for the same reason. Once I was in elementary school, I wanted to show my parents how beautiful dance really was and how I was able to express some of my inner most feelings without sitting down and having a discussion with someone. They enjoyed my performances and continued to encourage me to keep dancing.

In the high school and college years, dance became my life and my passion. I was able to escape reality and dance to fight off stress or any frustrations I was having at that particular time. In my freshman year of college, I lost my dad to a very peculiar death that I am still trying to put together in my mind today. At this time, I was part of a dance team and we were having a performance at the end of the year, where we were able to do any type of dance. I chose to do a modern piece to a rock song by the Foo Fighters entitled “Disenchanted Lullaby.” It was one of the most exhilarating dances of my entire life. I used leaps and kicks to portray my frustration and anger, and slow turns and gentle touches to my face in order to portray my sadness. This dance was the biggest portrayal of emotions and the audience was utterly amazed that I could pull this type of dance out of me. It was at the end of this dance that I felt my dad saying to me, “Well done, Jessica.”

After this dance, I knew that it was important for me to continue dancing for the rest of my life. When I am on that stage, it is my personal therapy session. I can release any feelings I am having without getting too personal. I believe everyone needs a chance to utilize art in this way and express the darkest inner most feelings they have in order to truly rejuvenate the mind.