Joshua Grant, Company dancer

Grant2I remember going to London with PNB back in 2002. I couldn’t wait to get back to America and everything that made me feel at home. The money, the food, the accents, the winding cobblestone streets, it all made me feel out of place and I always felt like a foreigner. I was also only nineteen and not yet personally ready to accept or experience the world outside of my comfort zone. Flash forward to 2006 when I joined Ballets Trockadero. 35 weeks a year for five years, my life was altered to that of an internationally touring ballet dancer. The difference this time, I was mentally ready. I traveled from one end of the globe to the other — Japan, Australia, Russia, France, the UK, Italy, Turkey, Mexico, Chile, Brazil, Thailand, Guatemala… and the list goes on. Each culture had one inherent similarity, they were all unique and individual, but based on themes of family, food, and love. What I loved most about traveling was seeing people living in their own environment, learning from them, and assimilating these ideas into my own sense of morality. Traveling has changed my perspective on life. Culture is imprinted on us beginning from birth yet the definition of our own culture is in a constant state of flux as we grow through life. Am I American? Yes, by birth, but my culture is much more a reflection of being a citizen of the world. We are a hodgepodge of cultural aesthetics and are lucky to have access to myriad amounts of lifestyles, humanities, and customs. The more we educate ourselves on the world around us, the more we understand the benefits of life. I guess, to me, that’s what being American is all about.

Grant1