Learning the many ways dance can enrich the body and soul, AJ’s understanding of his own relationship with dance and masculinity has changed since he first started. As he explains, “I grew up doing strictly ballet and at that time I was thinking that I had to be a manly man and present women on stage. Now, I know that I can be myself and I don’t have to be masculine, I don’t have to be feminine. I can just be me.”
Deciding to be himself, unapologetically, is both a life- and game-changing realization that wasn’t easy. Cole had a life-changing epiphany that inspired him to choose dance.
“[Back] in school, I always had people ask me, ‘Why do you dance? That’s such a girly thing. Why do you want to wear tights all day?’ There was always a lot of, “Why do you do the things you do?” But eventually, AJ found the answer, and it was incredibly simple: he danced simply because he could. Nothing more. Nothing less.
Few people would disagree that arts have the power to transcend and mend. But what AJ knows firsthand is that the only way to unlock such power and begin your own “hero’s journey” is to commit fully to being the best you can be. And that’s exactly what he wants to share with the world.
He reveals, “I want people to know that you should never apologize for being yourself. You should do what makes you happy, as well as move the way you want to. You are your best self when you are happy, and you should always strive to be your best self, and to be happy.”