8 Count Audio | We Wear Our Hearts On Our Sleeves
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We Wear Our Hearts On Our Sleeves

by Norm Ramil / 8CA team.leader & music.person

Have you ever had an idea that’s so big that it’s almost too hard to explain?

That’s how I feel right now as 8 Count Audio launches a new blog category called Hearts On Our Sleeves.

I guess I’ll start with the title! As you all know by now, I think that dance and music were made for each other. Being a dancer or a musician lets you live inside out, even if it’s just for the duration of a routine that lasts 2:15, or a song that goes for 3:30. In that moment, you wear your heart on your sleeve for all to see.

But there’s more to dance and music than just the performance, right?

What about the years it takes to even get to the point where you can perform a routine in front of judges, or a number in front of your family at a recital? The studio classes that take you late into the evening on a school night. Or wanting that team uniform and being a super visible part of Friday night lights.

What about the fears, hopes, insecurities, breakthroughs? The overcoming of an injury? The uncertainty of…so many things. Scores. Should we tweak our routine? Your place on the team. Can I really be a legit student athlete? Stick with my studio or try out for the team? Do my jazz shoes really smell that bad?

when you do what you do, and when I do what I do, we're all expressing ourselves with a really vulnerable kind of honesty and sincerity

If you’ve been willing to tackle any of that over your years of growing up as a dancer, let me just say that you’ve been wearing your heart on your sleeve. You’ve faced and felt and shared and hidden and reinterpreted all of the emotions that it takes to be a dancer. Sounds a lot like what other artists go through, including those of us who make the music you dance to.

So, yeah…Hearts On Our Sleeves is what I’m calling this. Because when you do what you do, and when I do what I do, we’re all expressing ourselves with a really vulnerable kind of honesty and sincerity. This is what music and dance both allow us to do: wear on the outside whatever’s been going on on the inside of our hearts and minds.

Why do we do what we do?

I was at a team visit at Argo back in first few days of 2017. During a water break, Sam, one of the captains, boldly and politely asked me, “Why do you do what you do?”

Good question. Why go to every competition possible just to find the best aspects of each routine? Why search for teams around the state to tell their story with overdone, almost lyrically-written articles?

I explained to her that I just think every team deserves a moment in the limelight, a pat on the back, and some sincere recognition, no matter the name on the front of their uniform, no matter the scoring range they usually fall into.

I told her that no one should be left out or overlooked, something that’s all too easy to do in the no-category, IHSA era. The least we can do is mention as many teams as possible, not just the top 3. You’re worth it.

Hearts On Our Sleeves is a place where we can talk about why we do what we do. And it’ll be totally ok to not be sure, to not have a final answer to anything.

Hearts On Our Sleeves is where we can talk about the emotional side of dance and music.

And for the coaches and ADs and parents out there who like mission statements, here’s ours!

Let’s fill this space with…

What kinds of posts will Hearts On Our Sleeves cover, besides talking about why we do what we do?

Hearts On Our Sleeves is where we can talk about the emotional side of dance and music.

I’m totally excited to share my own personal reactions to dances and songs. And being a music person, you’ll probably get a healthy dose of music thoughts here.

And you being dance people, here’s your shot at wearing your heart on your sleeve (in blog post form). I’ll let our amazing 8CA staffer Mallory reveal the details in an upcoming post!

Still not quite sure what this is about? Same. So let me try and come at it from another angle.

You know those feelings that bubble up when you stare at the stars, watch old friends reunite over winter break, reread that college rejection letter, or find out that yeah, there’s gonna be a second date?

It’s those kinds of moments where WE, the dance+music community, might think,  “This needs to be captured in a song, and then choreographed to.”

I’m still probably painting a blurry picture. Well, for Hearts On Our Sleeves, that’s ok. Sometimes the words, chords, and movements don’t quite come to us right away. But they will. You just need to start somewhere. Like right here.