For men, choosing to dance is a life-changing decision that defies norms associated with masculinity. And Nathaniel knows this personally. “We’re in a society where most people think that men can’t express themselves because that’s too feminine or it’s a woman quality, or ‘Oh, that makes you gay.’ And that’s not true. I think with those burdens put on men they feel like they can’t say anything.
But deciding to dance isn’t something that Nathaniel takes lightly. If anything, dance helps him in ways that nothing else can. As Nathaniel reveals, “I dance because it’s the only way I can fully express myself spiritually, mentally, emotionally, and physically…[and] I think men should dance more because sometimes we have a hard time expressing what we feel or what we’re trying to say. And dance can be a tool for that. You don’t have to say anything, you can just dance and you can move.”
It’s easy to see the beauty of dance when you’re in the audience. At some point, everyone starts there. Even professional dancers. It’s often the spark that ignites the courage to do and be. But what Nathaniel teaches us is that you don’t have to remain there. “I invite you to be a mover, be a dancer, where your voice is heard through your body,” he says. Because at the end of the day dance doesn’t have to end with you being a spectator.
Nathaniel continues, saying, “I hope that when people see me dance, I invite them and I welcome them to be as open as I hope that I am portraying or I am being when I’m moving so that they can take that experience and use it again to a stranger. To smile at a stranger when you go to work, when you talk to your kids, to be open.” And that’s what dance is all about. That’s what makes it a creative, life-changing force that surpasses anything we could ever explain with words.