You guys! You are never going to believe who you get to meet today! My guest this week is famous for his skill. He is a professional tap dancer, native of Manchester, Connecticut. I'm so excited for you to meet Corey Hutchins and not just because he's wicked talented but because he's also my relative through marriage. How cool is that?! This is quite the special episode, you will also get to meet his wife, my cousin Sarah, as they both discuss the joys and hardships of raising a biracial child and living a biracial marriage.
Corey's passion for tap is contagious. I love how excited he gets when he talks about it! I love the freedom of expression and form that tap dance allows. But mostly I appreciate how personal this is to Corey, how he knows he's part of a culture of the history of tap and he's doing his part to pass the mantle and history down to the younger generation.
I like how Corey views the world and sees opportunities. For example, how he used his time traveling with Riverdance to learn more about world cultures and how each culture processes things differently. He watches, learns, and gains understanding in how to respond in different situations...when you need to stand up and defend yourself and speak out vs when you just lay low and move on. The beauty and wisdom of life experience.
Corey spoke to the all too common burden of having to read a situation immediately in order to know how to most appropriately respond. He doesn't want to ignite any racist fears that may be laying dormant under the surface of someone in his presence. I'm equally saddened and astonished by this skill. I'm sad he is put in this position in the first place, that he doesn't have the freedom to just be. But I'm super impressed with how easily he just lets things go in the name of peace. He would rather live to see another day. What incredible character!
We've come full circle with the backpack analogy being used again near the end of our season. I really like how Corey describes what it's like. He says he never asked for it, doesn't want to carry it, but has it none the less. So since this is the situation he finds himself in he adapts and decides he gets to determine how he's going to handle this unwanted burden and how in doing so, he can make his family name better.
I greatly appreciate Sarah's teachable heart and posture of humility in desiring to watch, listen, and learn about how to not only be a better mother, but how to best equip their daughter for life. I love their strong foundation and importance they put on communication and honesty. All of us could benefit from these conscious choices in parenting and relationships.
I had the most wonderful time visiting with Corey. I left our conversation feeling uplifted and hopeful. He has that dynamic personality that leaves it's mark on you...at least he left his mark on me. I'm reminded of Maya Angelou's quote: “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” May we all leave those we touch today and everyday feeling loved and better than they did before our encounter, as Corey has.
Corey's Performance at the Hartford Public Library
Corey's Performance in Riverdance