Saturday, November 14, 2009

Practicing Confidence

During the past week, we had an amazing dance company in residency at Duke, called Urban Bush Women. If you ever have the chance to see them perform, I highly recommend it. What was even more incredible than the performance on Thursday night, was attending an hour-long discussion with the founder and artistic director Jawole Willa Jo Zollar. After telling us about her own story and the emergence of this company, she then posed us with a challenge. Actually, an opportunity - to tell our own stories. To create a short rhyme/rap/poem that affirms our unique identity - to confidently claim ourselves. Now, I don't know if anyone has ever asked you to sum up who you are on paper, but it was quite daunting at first.
I sat for several minutes, unsure of exactly where to begin. But once I stopped searching for the right adjectives and labels, I was able to compose a piece of something that exemplifies a lot of what makes me me. Jawole reminded us that confidence does not come naturally, but rather it must be practiced. She gave us the chance to begin rehearsing. This is a declaration, an identification with the self that is always there, but seldom voiced.

Always on the go,
my mama said,
keep right on moving,
until I crash in bed.
What she said back then,
it still is right,
try and do everything,
'til I stop at night.
A mover, a shaker,
always got big plans,
Dreaming, doing, can't stand
when something is out of my hands.
I love my friends,
more than anything,
Drop it all anytime,
Give them everything.
I've got a lot to try,
Even more to be,
Can't stop me now,
Because this is me.


  1. I love you. I'm glad you're doing so well. Life is so much better when you're enjoying it, isn't it? I know that sounds silly, but... sometimes we forget. <3