It was mid July, the summer weather was at it's peak. I had just found myself relocated for the third time on a comfy coach of my friends apartment in Brooklyn. In the midst of getting situated I received a text from my good friend, Shari. It was a screen shot of FKA Twigs tweet about her holding dance auditions in Baltimore. I had nothing to lose and so I went for it.
I packed a small duffle, took the next bus to Baltimore the next day unsure of what's to come.
As I arrived I found myself in a line filled with unique energy. Everyone was hungry, eager, excited, wide eyed and ready to embark on this journey. Unlike any audition space I have experienced, this one was a place of escape.
Once all the dancers were registered we were directed to a big ballroom space. FKA TWIGS walks in.... everyone started clapping excitedly.
I don't remember her exact words but I do remember that her message was sincere and about being together during a time of violence and unsubtlety to join together to create art and express ourselves. And that is exactly what we did.
I was being introduced out of my comfort zone. The energy went from "focus on standing out in this audition" to "allow yourself to be vulnerable with this art Jess and go at it with intense passion"
It was truly one of the most light hearted moments I've ever had with dance in a long time. When half the group got split up to stand on the side line, I had a moment to observe. I looked around and realized, I was in a room with extremely talented and creative human beings.
Each dancer was unique in their style and their physique showed dedication to this craft like no other. The sculpted toned bodies glistened with sweat. It was captivating.... it was alluring.
During the process of the audition/workshop I remembered my ankle started giving out. Then I heard a small pop. I rolled my ankle and it began to swell. I felt defeated. I knew what was best was to step out and rest. The pain began to spread more but I knew I should speak to her before leaving.
I slowly limped over to her as she continued to watch the other dancers rehearse the choreography.
She was sitting on the ground. I knelt down.
To Twigs: I just moved here from New York City. I took a bus all the way here to Baltimore to attend your workshop. I'm pursuing my dreams to be a dancer .... I want to thank you for this opportunity. I have to go now but thank really for this moment.
I remember her looking up at me with attentive eyes. She grabbed my hand and smiled and said thank you. Then I proceed to slowly walk out the exit.
Although I wasn't selected to be one of the dancers for FKA Twigs performance that day, I felt like the world selected me to be a part of this experience and that I will remember forever.
The next day I found myself laying down in my friends Baltimore apartment reflecting. Then I received an e-mail.
Everyone that was a part of the workshop got 2 free tickets to her and Travis Scott's show.
I still made my purchase to take the next bus back to New York and felt that the right thing to do is to focus on healing and move forward to the next challenge.
As I board the bus back to my new home, New York, I closed my eyes and took a deep breath. I been gaining so much serious knowledge from chasing my dreams, there is really no feeling like it. You never know where it'll lead you. I am truly blessed to have crossed paths so early on with FKA Twigs. Blessings to you and your team. I am grateful for this moment.
With that I leave you with a link to a documentary of that very day by Nick Walker: https://we.tl/fka-twigs