I find it astounding that some people inexplicably have the power and the ability to express themselves artistically. What is it’s source of that ability? Is it an inherent quality or can it be acquired? Perhaps it is both. Malcolm Gladwell said, “What is rare in life isn’t talent, it’s effort.”

I was enthralled with dance from an early age. I remember reading books and watching videos trying to mimic the moves that I saw. My results, through earnest efforts, were not polished, as a trained dancer’s would be. As much as I wanted to become a dancer, all of my wishing could not coax it into existence. I simply do not possess the talent. Having the will without the means can be quite frustrating. What the mind envisions, the body cannot quite deliver. So I humbly stand in awe before those for whom the gift comes naturally.

Our school puts on a talent show every year. It’s a wonderful way to showcase our student’s many and varied talents. We are blessed to have many talented singers and dancers. Yet, from time to time, a student will draw my attention. Jocelyn is such a student. As I watched Jocelyn dance, I was struck by how tranquil and fluid her movements were, how flexible her body was, and how well she interpreted the music. I remarked on it to the person standing next to me, who informed me that Jocelyn had never taken dance class. Impossible!

I know something of the self- taught dancer, having been one myself. No matter how hard I tried, I could never fool a practiced eye.  However, I believe Jocelyn might. I was intrigued. I decided to sit down with her to discuss how she came to be a dancer and what were her plans for dance in her future.

Jocelyn says that she was drawn to dance since she was a toddler. She loves how dance allows her to “just let go and tune everything out.” Other than an occasional after school program, Jocelyn is self-taught. She practices at home by watching videos and interpreting what she sees and can often be found in her living room twirling and leaping. She creates new choreography by allowing herself to “feel the music.”  

She credits her mother and abuela for supporting her. Her future plans include earning a degree in Dance and opening a studio, where she hopes to share her love of dance with young aspiring dancers.