Express Or Die

Most of us have something inside of us that needs expressing. This could be through writing, dressing up, dancing, cooking, decorating, whatever it is, creative expression is an innate part of being human. And although some forms of expression can be scary to let out, sometimes holding in our true self is even more painful than pushing through our fear and putting ourselves out there. This can be tricky in a time when we are told to “bring your whole self to work” and “vulnerability is your new superpower.” Yet in a polarized culture full of strong opinions, we can be one tweet or video away from being canceled or exiled from our corporate or social circles.

I have found great solace in expressing myself through dance and moving my body. I’ve loved dancing since I was a little girl. It started with me dancing alone at night in the reflection of the sliding glass door of my living room, to neighborhood dance contests, to cheerleading, to letting loose at Mormon church dances, to choreographing modern dance pieces, and ultimately to dancing at music festivals all over the world. It makes me feel powerful, beautiful, and alive. I might be dancing with or in front of others, but really it is about dancing with myself. As I’ve gotten older, I take pride in having kept that part of myself alive.

What is something that wants to move through you?

…something only you can create?

…a unique expression that is 100 percent you?

My daughter is a filmmaker and mentioned feeling frustrated with the tedious and expensive process of filmmaking. She just wanted to make something for fun. While she was staying at my apartment, she collaborated with a cinematographer, Lucinda Harstick, to make a dance fever dream film in just a couple of days. It’s a great example of expression that may not have much of a rhyme or reason other than simply being fun. To her, that is reason enough. And, as her dancing mother, I agree.

When people reveal themselves to us, that is a gift. When we reveal ourselves to ourselves and the world, that is an act of courage. And, if we are judged (which, let’s face it, is happening anyway), I choose to live my life seeking my own approval, being my authentic self, and having a bit of fun along the way.

Sage Bennett photographed by Lucinda Harstick for the short film, "Deviled Legs"
Sage Bennett photographed by Lucinda Harstick for the short film, "Deviled Legs"