Dance 12: When They Tell You Not to Sing

Well, here we are, the last day and the last video of the Delicious Body Dance-a-thon.

I just need to take a second and really let that sink in.

One month. Twelve videos.


When I started out with this project, I was absolutely terrified. I was so afraid to let go and dance on film. Over and over and over again.

But I posted that first video, and then the second and then the third…and I slowly, haltingly realized that this  sharing didn’t make me feel small and scared and not-good-enough. It made me feel bigger, more powerful, and more willing to take risks with my dance.

I feel like you can see that progression from the first video to this last one. It makes me so happy.

In ballet school, I was taught that I would never be good enough. That I would never be perfect, and that perfect was all that mattered. I was taught a lot of other terrible, damaging things too. But this project helped me move through that baggage and let it go. Because there are no scales to measure self-worth, and no way to compare your soul’s unique expression. No matter what they’ve told you. No matter how hard it is to believe.

…I feel like this piece is the perfect one to end on.

Thank you so much for witnessing this journey. Thank you to commenters and lurkers alike. Your support and appreciation radiated through the past month, and I will never forget it. <3


When They Tell You Not to Sing 

(By Suzi Q. Smith)

Has anyone called you beautiful today?
Have you seen the exploding stars in your smile, or are they already
black holes when greeted by a mirror?
Are you tall enough to reach your reflection,
or do the crushing boot heels keep you too close to the ground to reach?
Did they tell you that your face is impossible?

Did they tell you not to sing?
Did they tell you that you belong as close to the ground as you can get?
Did you believe them?

Did they rock and lull you with distractions,
or did they stone you into silence so that you no longer
spoke of your greatness?
Has anyone told you that you are a sleeping giant?
That you could rumble the earth all the way open if you wake up and stand?

Are you trapped inside a nightmare laced with villagers and ropes?
Have they named you ‘monster’?
Do you see the torches coming?
Are you yet to discover the might in your fingers?
Are you still buried in the slumber?

Has anyone told you of your majestic glory?
Have you heard whispers of possibility in your breath?
Have you reveled in the power of your sweetest dreams?

Do your teeth have welts?
Have they called your prison ‘cocoon’?
Are you ready to break out?
Are they so afraid of you that you have become
afraid of yourself?

Have they called you clumsy?
Have your legs gone numb in the box they’ve crammed you into?
Can you still wiggle your toes?

Do they mock your wings?
Do they echo the name ‘freak’ in their flapping?
Are you clinging, desperate to a branch?
Are your feathers atrophied?
Have you hardened into stone?

Do they treat you like an artifact?
Has your size become an idle exhibit
now that you are no longer a threat?
Are you still a threat?
Are you history, or are you making it still?

Has anyone told you today that you are still breathing?
That you can melt stones into water with a touch?
That the sun and moon are sheepish at the sight of you?

That the struggle free is what strengthens your wings
to carry you forward?
I offer you every mirror.
Your reflection is in love with you,


8 thoughts on “Dance 12: When They Tell You Not to Sing”

    1. YAYAYAYAY!!! Thank you!! 😀

      I know, right?! Right after Christmas I had a week of “OMGTOOLONGMUSTCUT!” but Krista convinced me to wait it out, and I am SO glad I did! I LOVE it 🙂

  1. Wow! Wow!! WOW!!!!

    Who knew a dance in the bathroom could be so beautiful and so powerful.

    Wonderful, Meg. 🙂

    (And, I concur on your hair. It’s so long!)

    1. Thank you! 😀
      Hehe…I had that thought myself! Or destroying the camera. Or somehow totalling my laptop. Oh, the horrible possibilities the bathroom offers! I’m so glad it worked out though!

  2. YOU DID IT!!! i’m so inspired!!! i love this dance so much. what a gorgeous poem. you inspire me to keep going. thank you so much for being such a strong, beautiful, daring and brave force of self-expression. you’re beauty is boundless, truly.

    1. YAY! I DID!
      I’ve said it before, but I have to say it again: Thank YOU so much for creating the project. It was amazing. You are a magic-maker. <3

Leave a Reply