By Jason Winters
This industry, and the connections within it, surprise me more and more each day! In fact, with todays technology and enough time and perseverance, a dancer/actor/singer/choreographer/director/producer/etc. can have “families” all over the world. And with amazing luck and a simple philosophy to not “burn bridges”, I have been become living proof of just that!
Years and years ago, I lived in Orlando, FL, where I worked at Walt Disney World as a dancer in many shows. During my time there I came to work with other young performers from many different countries and backgrounds, as well as world class choreographers like Jaime King (Madonna’s current director/creator for all her tours), dancers from Julliard (the most prestigious school in the U.S.), and producers who now create all of Walt Disney’s shows on Broadway. At that time we were all just kids brought together for different kinds of contracts, but truly connected through our love of this industry.
I was lucky to meet an incredible dancer named Cindy, who was one of Mia Michaels’ assistants at that time, and we began to dance and work together with Mia. Over the years we would find ourselves called upon to help create some of the most amazing projects, and in the down time between those projects, we would go our separate ways working for other people and pursuing other avenues. BUT, we always came back as the closest of friends and picked up right where we left off. Just recently Cindy was here performing with KIDD PIVOT, which is a Canadian based company formed by the renowned choreographer Crystal Pite, and we were able to catch up for lunch. We hadn’t seen each other for a few years, since working on Cirque de Soleil with Mia, but we had definitely kept in touch via emails and such. Cindy, went on to tell me about the incredible new project her and her husband have started for poor and under privileged children in Africa and India. Their program brings the arts and basic education to these children in desperate need of support and inspiration. I was so moved by her direction and passion that I agreed to help in any way possible, and in the next year I will travel to India for a brief time to donate my skills in any capacity possible. These schools provide a place to nurture and share OUR experiences and cultures with THEIRS, and there is nothing more special and important in the world today!
The real lesson in this little blog is how important every single connection we make along our career path can be. Don’t EVER “burn a bridge”, or think someone isn’t worth your time… because every human being is “WORTH YOUR TIME”, and life is not meant to be rushed or ignored. The dancer/singer/actor next to you today could be the choreographer/director/producer/photographer/movie editor/ or ANGEL OF THE GOLBAL COMMUNITY, that will change the world of tomorrow.
Love & Light,
By Jason Winters