Sunday, August 9, 2009

Commitment to Excellence

“Excellence can be obtained if you: more than others think is wise;
...risk more than others think is safe;
...dream more than others think is practical;
...expect more than others think is possible.” - Unknown

It is possible that the basis of human nature is to find a level of happiness or satisfaction in life, and settle for that level, without ever seeking more, without realizing that life can offer us so much more if only we choose to look for it. Life chooses challenges for each of us, and it is up to us to accept these challenges or not to. Inspiration finds itself in the form of our dreams. We dream the dream impossible, of bright lights, fancy cars and big homes. Each one of us dreaming of a life beyond what we have accepted as the norm.

Thus it is equally inspiring to find those who dare to live the dream, those who challenge themselves, those who are continually raising the bar to higher levels, and wanting to live the impossible dream. It is in those dreams, in the efforts of those who live their dreams every day that can light a fire in even the most desperate of souls.

For the past five years my daughter has found herself associated with a commitment to excellence that is unsurpassed in dance anywhere in Bermuda. The National Dance Foundation has hosted in conjunction with American Ballet Theater a 3 week summer intensive, known as DanceBermuda. Local dancers being trained by world class professionals, dancing alongside world class dancers and living the dream. The experience has been so enriching that my wife and I have volunteered for the past 3 years as host chaperones for the foreign dancers who come to Bermuda to participate in this amazing experience.

Enough of the feel good story. Let's talk about the Bermudian dancers who are not getting this experience. Let's talk about the greedy local dance school owners who chose to not help their dancers live their dream. No other organization or school offers what DanceBermuda does and yet hundreds of our young dancers are not getting the experience because these schools are more interested in $$$$ than they are in getting their dancers world class training. I've walked this road before. Letters to the editor, public please for cooperation have not moved these people. Each year has seen the few local dancers who do participate form friendships, and more importantly develop their skills. Ask anyone who participates, it's the real deal.

So the Bermudian stubbornness prevails. Should we be surprised? Bermudians have a reluctance to accept new ideas, and even in youth development we seem so far behind. With escalated violence on our streets and more and more kids falling seemingly by the wayside, we need more programs such as DanceBermuda, to help our kids live their dreams.

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