By Maryam Day, Dancer-Client
Most people who dance know the first time they were inspired to dance. It’s the moment that changes their lives forever. That moment for me was in the spring of 1979 at a New York City performance of the Joffrey Ballet. I was four years old, and I was moved to want to do everything I saw on stage that day. I danced in the aisles of the theater as if I were in Swan Lake. I was in awe of the lines, the shapes, and the movement accompanied by music I had never heard before; all of it changed me at that moment, and I knew at that moment that I wanted to become a dancer.
My formal training began at the Dance Theatre of Harlem and for years I lived, breathed, and dreamed of one day becoming a prima ballerina. But when I found the Graham technique I found freedom. The Modern dance vocabulary fit my body, made empirical sense to me, and truly made me recognize the artistry in myself. I was home.
The euphoria of dance can also bring about the pain of reality – literally. The first year of my undergraduate study at Temple University was an exciting time for me. We danced with our minds, bodies, and voices in unison, and weeks of rehearsals led to one memorable night on stage. Unfortunately, I did not pay enough attention to the part in the curriculum about warming up your body to avoid tearing a hamstring while onstage. The CRUNCH sound coming from my leg was louder than the live rock music that was scored for our section. I limped off the stage, laid on the floor between the dance shoes and leg warmers, and cried. For two months I could not walk; and that’s the moment I realized I can’t dance forever. I knew I would heal and that I would get my leg moving again, but at some point I would also take my last bow as a professional dancer. And that’s when the fear set in.
After years of performing all around the world, I knew the moment had come for me to do something different. New budding passions of mine were acting, writing my own work, and producing. In 2005 I formed my first company, Epiphany 3 Films, and CTFD was right there to support my dreams. As a transitioning dancer I knew I needed help and support to give me the courage and the tenacity to succeed. CTFD set me on a course with not only the courage, but also a “How To” life map of what to do with my business. They helped me formulate a business plan, mission statement, operating budgets, and long-term goals. The awarded seed money and counseling were priceless – truly gifts that kept on giving.
Since reaching my stride I have had the fortune to return the favor. In 2011, Social Savv(v)y Media opened for business: my boutique social media agency designed to help artists, non-profits, and filmmakers leverage their businesses and brands in the interactive space. CTFD was one of my first clients! Social Savv(v)y Media and CTFD worked together over 9 months to bridge the social media gap between programs, content, and CTFD’s audience.
I am proud to say I am a Career Transition for Dancer Success Story!