Tuesday, December 8, 2009


I first saw folk dancers in Rexburg, ID when I was 11 or 12 years old.  I went to three different performances in one weekend.  I was mesmerized by the movement of the dancers, the lively music and cultural diversity.  I ached to have the chance to be part of it.  Soon after this experience my family moved to California and then to Texas.  I figured the dream of folk dancing would stay just that, a dream. 

Over the years I learned to jitterbug and square dance.  As a teenager I took ballroom and country western classes.  The joyful folk dances continued to press upon my mind.  So, when I got to BYU I began taking folk dancing classes.  I even dabbled a bit in Irish soft shoe.  I LOVED folk dancing. LOVED IT.
At the beginning of every fall semester I would find out about the Folk Dance Company auditions.  I would plan my outfit.  I would practice.  I would dream.  But, I never made it to the audition.  I never made it to campus.  I never even got past my front door.  I was paralyzed by the fear that I would be rejected.  Somehow I thought it was easier not to try than to be unwanted, a cast off from my dream.
Doug and I attended Christmas Around the World at BYU on Friday.  Every year it is a vibrant colorful feast for the eyes and ears. This year was an even more spectacular somehow.  It was the 50th concert of Christmas Around the World.  They invited alumni to come and participate.  The stage was filled with people of all ages in costumes depicting the world.  It was the "Small World" ride at Disneyland come to life.  In an instant I felt the world shrink.  My love for my brothers and sisters across the world caught in my throat.  It was breathtaking.

My regret isn't that I missed out on being on that stage.  My regret is that I possibly missed out on enriching experiences because I was too scared to try.  If I have any wisdom to share because of this, and other experiences, it is this...  The only way to guarantee that you won't succeed is not to try in the first place.
On the plus side, I was able to use what I learned in my folk dance classes to choreograph dances for Bethlehem Revisited, in Waxahachie, TX.


  1. I regret not trying out for Women's Chorus when I was at BYU. I was just so intimidated! I should have at least tried, though. We live and we learn, don't we?

  2. Tom was on the folk dancing team at Ricks, and got to go to Italy with them. The following fall, we met and got engaged. In the spring, they were having tryouts for a China trip, and he wanted me to try out, but I didn't because I didn't have the money. I wish I had. Money can be paid back, but that is an experience I will never have.

  3. You have always been a star on my horizon, Jessica! What you do with your life is nothing short of amazing! I love you so much! You are beautiful and talented in every molecule of your body. I love you so very much!!

  4. I have a few experiences like that as well where I was too afraid so I didn't even try. I guess that was just another experience to learn and grow from.