I met talented 'Mover,' Tracey Katof shortly after she had the opportunity to dance and choreograph for comedian, Rebecca Drysdale, on a music video called "It Gets Better." In a short interview with her, this is what she had to say:
Q. Why do you dance? A. Language barriers exist between communities worldwide. I choose dance as my form of communication and self expression because I feel speaking through movement is the natural global language. Even the most simple movements, such as a smile or a frown, can be understood regardless of where someone comes from or what language they speak. I dance to promote efforts of human welfare and social reform. If I can spark an emotion or idea in an audience member that leads to a positive change, then I have accomplished my goal.
Q. How does this influence your dancing? A. My dancing is driven by my devotion to a cause and a desire to express truth. In addition, I hope that my body and movement can serve as a vessel for social change and awareness. In a sense, I dance to be larger than myself.
Q. Tell me about your experiences with "It Gets Better." A. Working with Comedian Rebecca Drysdale was a fulfilling experience. She put forth an immeasurable amount of time and effort into creating her vision. I thought it was an innovative idea to produce a music video and use humor to get the message across and to reach a large audience. Through the Internet and social media, the video has already been viewed 100,000 times in just 2 weeks!
Q. How has dancing for this social issue enriched your life as an artist? A. From choreographing for humanitarian causes, I have learned that no matter how foreign the topic is to me, I can always relate. That is what I want for the audience as well. I am not a part of the LGBT community, yet I have related to the pain caused by feeling different and being teased. The "It Gets Better" campaign is about accepting each other for who we are. I support this project because I want to spread the message that even in the most disheartening situations, there is always hope.
Tracey was the first to tell me about "It Gets Better." After I watched it for the first time I thought, I wish this was around when I was 14 so I didn't have to watch "Undressed" on MTV to feel normal! I recall being afraid to simply think thoughts of homosexuality, for fear that I would be, "condemned to hell." Add any level of physical, mental or emotional abuse to that kind of existence and it would be very difficult to know what I know now, which is, IT'S SOOO MUCH BETTER! This campaign has become a worldwide movement and is helping troubled teens look to a brighter side. For this I thank Tracey for lending her talents in Rebecca Drysdale's video.