Well, of course we all know that ShirJuanda “Bounce” Woodson has all her dreams and aspirations written down and ready to go, as if life is planned out perfect. But trust me, life has definitely taken a detour, one full of thoughts, new dreams and an education that will take me even further than where I had seen myself months ago.
The last time we checked in with my “busy artsy” life, I was living in Brooklyn, New York while enjoying a year at the prestigious Joffrey Ballet School based out of Manhattan. Well, let me tell you where I am now.
In my last blog, I said, “For as long as I can remember from the moment I could dream, I’ve dreamed BIG!” Well, I’m still dreaming, still pursuing but most of all, living. Just six months ago, I was packing up to leave New York and head to what I thought would be my next home, California. But God had another plan in store for me. All I can say is I won’t complain.
Although California was where I was focused on moving after leaving New York, I soon began to realize that some things in life just can’t be rushed. It’s like it was just yesterday that I was auditioning in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the well-renowned Debbie Allen’s “Brothers of the Knight” tour and receiving a part as the nanny. It was so great knowing I had set a goal to receive a part in the tour, but it was even better knowing I would be touring with not only Debbie Allen herself, who I have been blessed to train under for years, but to be reunited with some of my dance family form California and other states. But the nanny wasn’t the part I had hoped for. Don’t get me wrong, to receive a part was good enough, but to receive a main role rather than a supporting role would’ve been the icing on the cake. But you take what you have and appreciate it and work harder the next time.
Needless to say, I didn’t go on the tour, but I did come home to Texas to enjoy a summer with family, friends, and dance my life away. My summer was quite amazing. I didn’t realize how much I missed my family and friends, but I always know that no matter near or far, they are always there supporting me.
Well, are you anxious to know where I am now? Let me tell you. I am back at the amazing Texas Christian University, finishing what I started. Before New York, I was studying at TCU as a Kinesiology major with a focus on Health and Fitness. I’m definitely back in my element and working hard towards my Bachelor’s Degree in Science. How did I end up back here in Texas at TCU? This decision came by truly taking a step back from my hectic life and looking from the outside in. My parents have always told me that in life, sometimes you just have to step back and look at the bigger picture. Because, let’s be honest, we as humans can make irrational decisions because we are so focused on that one thing we want so bad. That for me was California. California is definitely still in the picture, but definitely after I graduate from college. Sometimes we are so focused on where we want to go in life that we will miss out on other routes that can get us there in the same time, but with even more in store. I will say I am definitely glad to be back at school and doing what I have to do to make my future that much brighter.
I missed the atmosphere of being on campus and being in class, although I am still quite antsy sitting in a chair. It’s good to know I am learning for my future career in working with kids through dance from a health and fitness perspective. There is nothing more that warms my heart than working with kids. I have been blessed to start a new contract with The Clayton Y.E.S non-profit program here in Fort Worth as one of their after school Fine Arts Program teachers, teaching dance to students in various schools. Working every day with these kids lightens up my world. It allows me to see that the decision God had planned for my life was something I had to be openly willing to take in.
So are you wondering if I’m still dancing? OF COURSE I AM! After moping around and wondering where I was going to dance for the year, the Lord answered my prayers and one of my classmates told me about the competition dance team auditions that TCU Elite Dance was hosting. After a weekend of auditions held September 5th and 6th, I was named one of the twenty team members on the 2014-2015 TCU Elite Dance Competition team. It is so great to be back dancing, but most of all, competing. To think, four years ago I never thought I would compete again after the studio I attended closed, but it all came back around in my favor.
Daily, I look in the mirror and I tell myself, “I keep my head up high because there are many that would hate to see me fall”. This quote means so much to me from my family, to my friends, to my students, and even you as a reader. I know that everyone wants to see me succeed and that’s exactly where I want to be. Living a life of success, with no regrets, and avoiding stress. I can say I am truly blessed, because for me I have never looked at life or my past as mistakes that I wish I could change. I look at them as lessons that make me the woman I am today. From my loving and supportive mother and father, brother, family, friends and great boyfriend, to the amazing people like you (those who I don’t know), I continue to strive to make all my dreams come true, because you never know the impact you might have on someone else’s life.
In a great novel, “Air” by Geoff Ryman, he states, “no one can make you feel inferior without you agreeing with him or her first”. I learned a lot from this statement. We as people back down from what we want just to appeal to the world around us. We question and wonder what the world thinks, but let me tell you this. The world around you is a lesson in itself. Are you going to give in or are you going to put in? I choose to put in!
I am ShirJuanda “Bounce” Woodson.
I am a Dancer, Student, Daughter, Sister, and Friend.
I am a God-fearing woman achieving her dreams, goals and aspirations.
I am going to make it.
I am making it.
But, through all this…
I WILL FOREVER BE ME!
So, my question to you is…Who are you going to be? The person the world sees, or the person you see?
I have the talent, I have the dedication, I have the heart, now all I need is the location.
Until next time!