Week 7 of the competition is not for beginners and novices. Fierce spirits and sharpened skills define who stays in and who goes home. Injuries are multiple; twists and turns are rapid. No one is safe from elimination; no one is assured victory. The professionals dance with grace and beauty. Their body movements come naturally. Their thought processes are automatic, taking them from hold to movement with perfect transition. The amateurs are stepping into that place where grace and beauty are one. Their body movements are easier now. Their thought processes are less forced and foreign now, taking them through their routine with ease of familiarity and joy of accomplishment. The judges are more kind with their remarks and criticisms than before. Words of encouragement and praise overshadow the harshness of reality. Grace and beauty adorn the stage–in music, in dance, in costume and in words.
“There is meaning and purpose in everything that happens. There is value to every soul.”
The spotlight performance was by an award-winning dance group. This group has traveled the world doing what it does best. Not only is the group significant in the dance world, but one of its members is widely acclaimed and highly honored on his own merit. Richard “Steelo” Vazquez was a professional dancer, choreographer, actor, and performance artist. In the twinkling of an eye, he suffered the rupture of a brain aneurysm. For weeks, it was a life-threatening situation but now after almost a year of intense rehabilitation, he made his first public performance as a dancer. His movements were different, relying as much on his thought processes as his physical strength. Yet his return to the stage was with the same grace and beauty that drove the professional career he once had, for his grace and beauty comes from the heart. He is a display of grace and beauty beyond the music, the dance, the costumes and the words.
Grace and beauty is within every soul. It is a matter of the heart when grace and beauty are displayed– not of skill, ability, financial standing or social status. There may indeed be events, circumstances or person(s) that turn our life upside down (as is common in all lives), yet grace and beauty beyond all are still there when the heart is free and whole.