Centering What Matters

close up of dancer holding her hands together

Credit: Chyrstyn Fentroy photographed by Katie Salerno

Jai-Dee Dancewear is a sustainable leotard company celebrating the beauty, wisdom and value of women who dance. Our blog serves to inform, inspire and connect our community of socially conscious women in ballet and beyond. All hearts are welcome here.

Most years, I choose a word, idea or phrase to help ground the months ahead and frame the season of life I’m in. Questioning. Yes-ing. Trusting. Waiting. Allowing. Creating. The word itself seems to matter very little; its the year-long presence of it that helps mark time and reveal meaning. This past January, I half-heartedly accepted protection as the word I’d bring into 2020. I couldn’t grasp why such a skimpy word kept circling around in my body but…there it was. I felt it had to do with bringing stronger boundaries to my attention, time and energy and with better protecting my family’s emerging needs. While these things hold true, I’m now understanding the concept of protection in far bigger, more urgent and consequential ways.

How can we protect ourselves and each other through this pandemic?

How can we better protect Black lives?

Who and what is overprotected in society?

Who and what is left out?

How can we possibly protect health, art, joy, connection and creativity in such serious, isolating and exhausting times?

Although in varying degrees and ways, reality has changed for everyone.

Even for the dance community – a community that constantly shifts and is shifted – 2020 is a major knock to the core. It’s hard to take the next right step in a time where nothing feels truly right. These days, I’m finding it helpful to identify a) when and where choices remain available b) how I can bring my body into making everyday decisions and c) how these choices do or do not reflect my values.

Taking pause with Jai-Dee Dancewear is a conscious choice I am continuing to make. 

This isn’t to say there is a single thing wrong with growing and protecting business during a pandemic. In fact, I am deliberately supporting small business and Black-owned business both in and beyond dance. It simply feels out of alignment for me to use time and energy to add dancewear to the world right now. While I truly love all that Jai-Dee is and can become, the many ideas I have for its growth currently feel wildly out of place. Although bittersweet, it’s a clear choice for me to continue focusing on creating a homeschool, an antiracist family and an adoptee-centered community this year.

I haven’t quite decided whether to formally pause Jai-Dee’s online store (it’s doors are currently open!), close it completely or simply extend the break I’ve been taking from it until a new normal makes this love project possible again. For now, I’m continuing to let my body lead the way.

With heart,

Sustainable leotards empowering women through ecofriendly clothing.