You standing here is a sign of victory.
SYTYCD filmed auditions in New Orleans this year, and the episode aired tonight. As I watched the entire episode, I was pretty much alternating between bouncing out of my chair with excitement for these incredible dancers and sitting, crying in awe of their triumphs. So many of these dancers have never had formal training - dancing is just part of the cultural fabric of this city. Dancer after dancer just brought serious heat, but what else would you expect from NOLA? One kid even introduced the "New Orleans Bounce" which blew everyone away. I mean, seriously, it was some of the fiercest stuff I've ever seen. He was there with his best friend, his mentor, who had taught him to dance when he was a little kid and had woken him up at 3:00 in the morning the day of the audition to make sure he was there on time.
And he's just one example. This city is filled to the brim with passion, talent, and soul. It's everywhere you go, everyone you meet, every song you hear sung on a street corner. Music is the heartbeat of this city, and it seems like everyone, from tiny children to old-timers and everyone in between, carries that heartbeat.
I love this city so much. It sets me on fire, and every day I feel like new things are possible. Each person here has had their heart broken, made sacrifices to come back, and keep going. This city taught me that. It has taught me to be alive, to be honest, to try every day, to be strong. Just like each one of those dancers, and just like this gorgeous city, each of us still standing here is a sign of victory.