From an early age I have always been afraid to take risks. Whether this was because I was always encourged to take great care and caution or whether it was because I was simply afraid of failing I still haven't worked out. Thus risk taking has never been something that I have been particularly fond of. However throughout my first semester studying Dance at University of Roehampton, I was (to my great displeasure) encouraged to take as many risks as possible. Edwin Denby's idea that "the risk is a part of the rhythm [as] one steps out of and into balance" (Denby, 1998) has stuck with me since my orientation at Roehampton. As I later discovered in my technique classes (also to my great displeasure), Denby was correct.
So, with the advice of my lectures and my tutors I decided to take a risk. I applied to study dance abroad for the Spring semester of my second year and was placed in Goucher College in Baltimore. From my first four days here it is apparent that Goucher is unapologetic in being a private liberal arts college. Both professors and students are incredibly passionate about their teaching and learning. There is an extremely strong sense of community here amongst both students and staff, which I have found in few schools and colleges in England. Despite the great cultural, academic and personal adjustments, in these first four days Goucher has already been a hugely positive and inspiring experience.
Perhaps the rhythm of "stepping in and out of balance" is similar to the leaps we take to improve our character and broaden our academic and personal horizons. Taking risks is central in developing ourselves, regardless of the extent or size of the risk. Whether it is abandoning your inhibition and fear to throw yourself into a complex routine, or chasing a dream to the other side of the world, these risks are fundamental.
Just like the dancer who takes a risk and is consequently dangerously uncertain of their landing, catching and falling; a life and a dream with risk is extraordinarily more exciting.