It’s The Climb

By Luke Willis

Luke_Willis_BalletZaida_jumpingThe most interesting thing about “making it” is that the people we think “made it” are usually in a mindset of always wanting more, always searching for the next challenge, always looking to grow and increase their wealth of experience. Making it is an external judgment made by an outsider looking in.  The person making it is too involved in the experience, the process, the relationships and the work to think that it is all over and he or she has arrived.

I have a keen awareness of my value and success. I am a dancer for what I consider the best ballet company in the US.  I pay all my bills, travel, eat well and drink great wine, all paid for by me going into the ballet studio each morning.  But the laughter and growth that happens on the journey is the real reward.  In Miley’s words, “It’s the climb.”

I still want more. Life isn’t over.  We can talk about whether or not I “made it” when I’m lying in my coffin.

Luke is originally from Jacksonville Beach, FL.  He danced at the Aspen Santa Fe Ballet for three years before joining the San Francisco Ballet in 2007. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @lukewillis.

Photo credit: “Oliver Endahl of Ballet Zaida”