16/06/2014 11:51 BST | Updated 15/08/2014 06:59 BST

Asking for Help IS Okay


The other day, I showed my middle school students in my Girls' Lifestyle Camp a few clips from the show So You Think You Can Dance. I thought it was important for the girls to see these dancers who followed their passions and dreams through hard work and dedication despite the obstacles and difficulties. I also thought it was imperative for the girls to see a form of self-expression, to see dance as one of the many ways people share their uniqueness and their emotions.

There was one girl, Dani Platz, whose story was incredibly emotional and whose story I wanted to share with my girls. In her interview, she discusses her struggles with an eating disorder in high school. She shares how she judged herself so intensely that she lost all love for herself. The amazing thing about Dani is that she courageously reached out for help and went away for treatment for 2 years to change her destructive self-image. She recognized she was spiraling out of control, heading towards nothing but unhealthy darkness, and realized she needed to make a change.

Dani talks about how, through her recovery, she's now able to feel love from others but, more importantly, love for herself from within herself. She tells us how incredibly grateful she is to know and feel that now and to have dance and joy back in her life. She's an incredibly brave girl.

The dance she then performs invokes such heavy and deep emotion. You feel her pain and her journey through her movements. The way she maneuvers her body expresses her brokenness and her healing. It's an understatement to say it is an incredibly moving piece. Christina Applegate, one of the judges, articulates the performance perfectly by saying it displayed "...acceptance of the fact that you're broken....It's okay to be broken, but you're healing...You're healing through dance; you're healing by telling us your story..."

After watching this piece, I turned to my girls and saw through my own blurry, teary vision that most of them were crying as well. I told them that all of us are or will be a little broken in our lives, and that it's okay. I opened up to the girls and shared a bit about my own struggles with anxiety and OCD. I then let them know that they're never alone, and, no matter what, there are people and avenues through which we can receive the help and love we need.


To view Dani's interview and dance, click on the link below:


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Images: 1st:, Google Images 2nd:, Google Images