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What if?

There's something about some of us that, when you really stop to think about it, is really quite remarkable. The ability for an adult, after being exposed to so much in life, after knowing the taste of bitterness, after looking at all that is wrong in the world and instead of giving in to the temptation to be jaded - still opening themselves up to the possibility that comes with two simple words, "what if?"


Dreamers, especially the adult kind, often get too much of a bad reputation while also receiving far too less credit. What it takes for a person who has experienced a certain level of disappointment ,to still see beyond what is in front of them, to peer into the vastness of what could be is no easy task. Trust me, I should know.


Asking "what if?" has often left me looking like a fool to the world around me. People call you strange or my personal favorite, "delusional", when you find yourself talking so confidently about a world that doesn't exist, as if it's a place you've already lived. People begin to keep a safe distance, as you begin to walk into uncharted territory. You'll even find yourself ridiculed, misjudged, as you come across as "ungrateful", as your detractors can't help but notice the discontent that must always be behind those two little words, "what if?"


Yes, "what if?" will cost you, which is ironic because it is often those same 2 little words that will also yield you your biggest returns. What if it were us up there sometime? What if I could be the one to put us there? What if I could start a dance company? What if people actually started taking it seriously? What if a dance company could be more than a dance company? What if we actually lived our mission? What if there was more for us? What if we inspired the idea of more, in more people? What if we could influence culture by creating it? What if we got to perform there? What if we hired more black people? What if we could use theatre and dance to spark a revolution, to change the damn world?


What if I told you that you don't have to wonder "what if"? That Revolution Dance Theatre has already been answering these questions and many more. What if you found out that Revolution Dance Theatre was just two dudes, some would call them n*gg's, putting in work? What if I told you that for a while, "the company" was made up of nothing more than high school seniors, a mixed bag of college kids, some volunteers, a 13 year old, and at a time, even those experiencing homelessness? What if I told you that Revolution Dance Theatre pulled all of this together in a warehouse with no air in the summer and no heat in the dead of winter? What if we did this with pennies on the dollar when compared to what it costs to do programming at many predominately white institutions?


I have asked myself often recently, how could a man as blessed as me be so discontent? And I believe the answer lies in all the remaining "what if's". As I look at the impact that we have beem able to have I can't help but ask myself What if we had more than one faithful donor making a monthly contribution? What if we actually received that large Corporate sponsor? What if we had enough cash flow to sustain a staff? What if we too had a facility that allowed us to actually explore our abilities and hone our craft? We're selling shows out now, what if we actually had a marketing budget? What if a ballet company, could afford ballet teachers? What if more than one man truly saw the vision? What if enough people, everyday folks, decided to become revolutionaries and help us see just how far this thing can really go? What if we decided to support black art? What if that's what we need to change the damn world?


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