As a child, I swear my mom put me in every activity she could in order to keep me occupied and out of trouble. I played softball. I was in dance. I performed in plays. I was in gymnastics. Hell I was even in band, cheerleading and track! With being an active child you would have thought I didn’t have time for anything else. Well I did…
Vacations consisted of seeing various parts of the country (mostly to visit out of town family). However, there were times when I got to experience things that kids these days do not really care to see. Yes, I took in sights of gorgeous countryside that words just couldn’t begin to describe. But I also got to see full on city life. We did things like snow skiing, swimming in naturally formed creeks, learned about guns and gun safety, and so on. Those are typical to most childhood family vacations though. The biggest and most cultural experiences that I received as a child were going to New York and seeing things that us folk in the south really only ever see on TV. We went to Rockefeller Center, FAO Schwartz and Radio City Music Hall…to name just a few. I got to see Cats, the Rockettes and The Secret Garden! I even got to experience dinners with multiple forks and spoons with all of the proper manners.
Looking at me today, you would never guess the crazy eventful, highly energetic, incredibly dramatic (and at times traumatic) and vividly cultural childhood I actually had. The things I learned and experienced at such a young age has helped me to find beauty in so much, especially now that I am an adult and know how precious life really is.
I have a daughter who is 15 and an amazing singer. Naturally, as her mother, I support this love of singing that she has. I never gave thought too much into her actually doing it for a living, mostly because “show biz” is tough to break into. However, if that is the path she wishes to travel, I will be there.
I also have a cousin who dances. She is 16 now and I have had the pleasure to see her dance a few times. She is incredibly talented. Again, being family, I naturally support her in her art. Just as I would do if she opted to take it further and pursue a career in dance.
Although both of these girls are still quite young they bubble over with talent. They both have the potential (yes, there is some bias here too) to become strong and successful artists in their respective art.
Seeing young artists and having been a young artist in my day, I find there is such a strong love and passion within them for whatever art they have chosen. I have seen so many artists up close and personal, as well as via internet, and their passion just astounds me. I feel this is mostly because they haven’t been corrupted by money or society’s opinions of them yet. They still hold that fire, that immense love of their art. Its true and completely raw emotion!
Not too long ago, my dancing cousin (mentioned above) lost a close friend and mentor. She was without a doubt devastated. Her mother took it hard as well. This situation is never an easy one to deal with but it’s even more difficult to watch people you care about in a state that you cannot do a thing to help, except be there to listen or give them the shoulder they need. Of course, I did what I could to help but never felt it was good enough. I am sure they appreciated my efforts though. (Love you ladies)
Shortly after his passing my cousin sent me a suggestion to go like a page in Facebook. I clicked it open and started checking it out. It was a new page, a dedication page. I wasn’t too sure where the page was headed but here I am trying to be supportive in all ways, I liked the page. I would later find out the intentions behind this Facebook page and would be more than happy to support it (and my family) in any possible way.
Let me explain… I have heard stories, seen videos and pictures of this young man. Unfortunately, I never had the pleasure to meet him. He was a dancer. Now by that, it sounds insanely bland and like he is every other “normal” human on this planet. He was anything but. I may not have met him but he touched so many hearts and souls in his short time that I just love to hear about him.
My cousins have shared stories about him mentoring. How he and my little cousin would get together and just dance out everything together. He carried so much passion, so much emotion, so much raw talent that you can see it in his videos and pictures. I have read things he has posted. To me, I’d say he had an “old soul” but definitely a beautiful one. He was absolutely talented and without a doubt expressive. I am not sure if he tried it, but I’d be willing to bet he could tell a story in a dance with no music or sound, just him and his impressive expressions.
Before I continue, I write this as a way of supporting my family. I write this as a way to support what his family and friends are doing in his name. I write this in hopes that those who loved him and cared for him see that his spirit will continue to live on. For someone to just hear stories and see a few videos and pictures and STILL be beyond inspired by one young person they never met…that says something!
The Inspires Project is a community page that can be found on Facebook. If you get a chance stop by and check it out, even for just a moment. This project is inspired by this young man’s dream of helping others. On this page you will find memories, comments, complete support, videos and so much more about this young man as well as the role in the arts that this project is taking.
Please keep in mind: I am not asking for anyone to donate. I am not asking for you to like the page or follow the stories. I am just asking that you art lovers, dance lovers and you emotional folks out there take just a few moments of your time to see this page and see what he was about. Take a look at the pictures and watch a video or two. That is all that I ask. I just want to share his love, passion and emotion to anyone who wants to see it. If you opt to like the page or donate or even purchase any of the project created merchandise…I thank you. You may have been just what was needed to help spread his dream to another lover of the arts!