Today I learned a new word: contortionist
contortionist /kənˈtɔːʃ(ə)nɪst /▸ noun an entertainer who twists and bends their body into strange and unnatural positions.
I saw this while watching past AGT performances with my sister. We watched contortionist Sofie Dossi. When she joined AGT at 14years old the judge asked her when did she discover that she wanted and could do contortion. She replied with a big smile and confidence: “I found this out by watching a video of contortion and I was like oh my gosh I really want to try this”. In that performance, Sofie bent her knees over her head and was balancing one hand on a cane. With her legs still bent, she grabbed an apple with her legs and took a bite out of it. Finally while performing a handstand, she shot a bow with her feet and hit a target feet away. It was spectacular.
Such auditions remind us of the human ability to be and create whatever we want. Sofie reminds us what being determined, and at the same time supported, result in. So many of us have the moment of “I can do this”, “I want to do this”, but not all of us find the courage and support needed to continue. We are always quick to discourage, to negatively comment, …than we are to help. Today I urge you, and myself, to be the first ones to applause those who are trying. To be the first ones to share their work with friends and family. To be the first ones to give them feedback on how to improve rather than negatively criticizing.
I urge us to build a safe community in which one can grow and flourish.