Just Friends

By Stephanie Salts


I have a habit of falling in love.

With people. Then with places. Sometimes things. Is dance a thing? Is dance a place? OR is dance a person? Maybe dance is all these things. I have found it in all three.

I find it hard to introduce myself to people sometimes. Answering a simple question like “Where are you from?” confronts me with a deep breath. The past 9 of my 23 years have been consistent transition. The only ground I can fairly claim is the ground beneath the feet of those with whom I have a relationship.

Though dance has no legs or feet, I consider it an old friend. I consider it a homey place. I have found it to be a hand that strokes my hair. I consider it as faithful as the seasons.

As I grow and change and move, so do my relationships. And I am challenged by every single one. I am in love with people. I am in love with dance. If I had to quit dance to save a friends life, I would do it without hesitation. A silly scenario, I know.

If I am to tell you my reasons for anything, I have to be honest. So, here goes. I have found my identity and salvation in the Creator of beauty. He has given me eyes to see people in a unique light. He has given me purpose in His story, and curiosity in the life He has given me and in the lives of others around me. I believe every person is in my life for a reason. And I have found that every relationship has beauty in its corners, if you are willing to invest. So, if you believe that there is a God who created this world with purpose and intention, you might agree with me that every single person has a bit of His glory in them.

I used to find myself in a lot of pain and confusion when a relationship would get put away for a while. Whatever the reason – me moving away, or natural things drawing us in different directions – I used to question the relevance of a relationship if it seemed to have no future. But the more people I meet, the more I am learning to accept each person as a true part of my life in this time. I also accept them as a true part of my past and the question of whether or not I get to see them again, is in fact irrelevant. Their picture is hung forever in my memory and they will forever have meaning.

Dance and I have a long past. Sometimes I wonder how much dance has to do with me. Or what do I mean to dance? Is it a part of my soul composition? Or is it just another meaningful relationship that will hold a strong place in my soul forever? Which actually brings me to my next question… do our relationships make us who we are?

I have watched hearts be broken by this person called dance. My heart has been broken by dance. But as I get to know it more, I think I want to be careful not to have unfair expectations of this person. It will never make me whole. Dance has, and will continue to change over time. And so will I.

Dear Mr/Mrs Dance,

You are a wonderful part of my life. I will welcome you as long as we are good for each other. I will ask a lot of you. And you will ask a lot of me, you already have. I confess I have the tendency to ask too much of you. I have given you the ability to define me. And you have taken advantage of that. I will blame myself for this. While you have shown me so many things about myself… about my personal potential and will, I think you have overstepped your bounds and sometimes you confuse me. You resist me. And you tell me my contribution is not important to anyone. You tell me to go find something different to do, find someone else to help. That there are other people in other professions/relationships who are doing “more”. Well what about the people in this relationship? There are people right here for me to help and they might need me more than anyone else… So, I will take everything you have to say with a grain of salt. And I will give it time. You always seem to change your mind after a while. Thank you for the good things. And thank you for the bad. I will always love you. No matter how near or far you may seem to be.


Stephanie M. Salts

2 Responses to “Just Friends”

  1. Kristin

    Wow! May me cry, what beautiful writing and photography. Thank you for this!
    In the words of Jody Sawyer (Center Stage), “I”m all splotchy.”

  2. bayareadancewatch

    I love the photograph!! And it seems to fit
    right in with many parts of the article &
    letter. The “Caution” sign is priceless; the dead but beautiful leaves; even the young lady’s stance (no pun intended) – it’s both
    a dance stance and a stance one might
    see in everyday life away from dance.

    Nice to see a great matching of a gorgeous
    photo with a personal dancer’s story,

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