Four Lessons Learned about Happiness from Being Cinderella


1. Successfully improving at something is far more satisfying than already being great at it. For the first couple of months of rehearsals, I had to really work on being softer and more gentle when I danced. According to my dance teacher, I looked too strong to come across as a vulnerable character like Cinderella. It's funny, because I had thought that acting the character would be easy for me, but it took me a long time to really get into it. But in retrospect, I'm glad that I didn't have everything down and perfect right from the start. It was much more fulfilling to be told that I was finally softening up and starting to feel the part.

2. Invest in the people you're with. Building them up will build you up. This year, I got to partner a great, perpetually cheerful guy, and I got to spend a lot of time with all my crazy, amazing friends at dance. The whole production wouldn't have been half as much fun if it hadn't been for the people I was with. We all laughed together and encouraged each other about our various dances, which really helped to ease any tension there might have been and to make the environment more pleasant. While we're all here because of our common interest in dance, if we had only focused on dance and ignored each other, we would have missed out on the whole point.

3. Do what you love and love what you do. Do the things you enjoy and the things which make you find fun and meaning in life. And if you find yourself doing something you do not like, find something to like about it. There's always a bright spot, even if it takes a while to find it. As Night at the Museum 2 would have it, the key to happiness is doing what you love, with the people you love.

4. Smiling makes everything easier. And a lot less awkward. And a whole lot more fun.