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The Choreography Within

A Dancer Reclaims His Body by Finally Sitting Still



One hemisphere of my pelvis is above and in front of the other. I imagine it floating there in my body, untethered, out of my control. Every morning I sit at the edge of my bed and grip my right knee to “pop” my leg back into the socket; as my pelvis always wiggles away from me while I sleep.

I wasn’t born this way. In my first year at The Ailey School, I was invited to audition for the junior touring company, Ailey II. I was so eager to impress that I brought my arabesque much higher than my body could accommodate. A sharp pain shot through my body, one that I ignored without a second thought exactly as I had been trained to do all my life.

Looking back, I wish I had heeded my body’s warning. But how could I have known? At that time, considering the possible consequences, or even considering anything beyond the world of dance, proved difficult. In fact, my world outside of dance – anything outside my own body – had always...