Insecurities Caught on Film; The Enemy Within

Chances are, you are probably at least a little insecure about something. Don’t feel bad, I am too. Everyone is, even those that don’t have to wear a leotard and stare in a mirror for work purposes.

I think I am not alone as a professional dancer in saying that I dance for a huge variety of reasons;(here’s a list of my reasons)  it is fun and I like the majority of the people I have met through dance and lovely costumes and music and feeling active and other forms of work can sometimes seem so endless and monotonous. But I also dance because when I’m in the studio in a leotard, staring at myself trying to perfect a step or line I have to confront my insecurities about my capabilities and my body and how I look. And while that can be uncomfortable (especially on those post ‘pasta-for-dinner’ days) I enjoy having to say yes, I might feel bad about my poor turnout or wish my thighs were smaller or do I deserve a good part and the respect of my fellow dancers but I feel better about myself and my life, realize how lucky I am, when I’m dancing. It prioritizes love over fear. 

Most of us have at one time or another felt ugly, felt unworthy of our partners and loved ones, felt afraid to go for success, to voice our opinions or say ‘this is what I want”. This is even true of the artists that we, or I, idolize. Or at least, it’s true of the characters that they portray in the upcoming dance film, ‘The Enemy Within’ created by the UAI (United Artistis Initiative)


What is that? Who’s in it? Where do I see it for myself? Here’s what I know:

  United Artists Initiative (UAI) is a cross genre dance movement combining the talents of the best artists in the world in efforts to unite the arts through a unique digital and social media experience.
Tiler Peck, Principal Dancer with the New York City Ballet; Matthew Rushing, Rehearsal Director and Guest Artist with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre; Marquese “Nonstop” Scott, Youtube sensation and Samantha Figgins, Complexions Contemporary Ballet dancer have joined forces in UAI’s first inaugural campaign.
“There has never been such a magical collaboration of dance captured for the world to see,” explains Preston Miller, Artistic Director and founder of UAI. “With the creation of UAI, we have made a tangible commitment to challenge the standards of dance. Enjoy the ride.”
Owning some of the best dance relationships in the world, UAI has plans to release four videos each featuring Peck, Rushing, Scott and Figgins to support the release of UAI’s first short film, The Enemy Within. 
The Enemy Within will be released Winter 2013.  Pre-sales now available for $15 (DVD); $20 (DVD and downloadable link).
About United Artists Initiative
UAI is the next generation of art organizations.  Founded in 2013 by Artistic Director Preston Miller, we unite the greatest artists in the world, creating an experience that leaps beyond the stage.  Our mission is to collide cultures and create an inspirational experience for the masses.  
I’m looking forward to seeing the film for the incredible dancers and for the subject matter. I love that dance has the ability to tackle real life, day-to-day struggles. If that struggle is captured beautifully by extraordinary dancers, doesn’t that somehow make you feel a little more united with your fellow humans in our shared struggles and desire to overcome? If the struggle is even expressed, and turned into a statement or a piece of art, isn’t that a sense of overcoming the shameful stigma of insecurity?
‘The Nutcracker’ is tomorrow! I’m excited and proud and humbled to be part of the production, to dance the role of Sugar Plum. It took overcoming some pretty debilitating insecurities to come back to dance two years ago and I’m feeling more grateful and happy that I have been able to do so than ever. But still, if we could all refrain from calling each other or ourselves fat or bad, that might make life a little easier. xo-Jess
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studio rehearsal with Common Thread Contemporary Dance Company

studio rehearsal with Common Thread Contemporary Dance Company

One thought on “Insecurities Caught on Film; The Enemy Within

  1. Pingback: CBC Ballet Mockumentary ‘Off Kilter” is On Point | BODIES NEVER LIE

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