When I was about fifteen, a little younger than my teenage daughter, two men in suits came to my school. They spoke to us in a careers lesson; told us how important computers would be to all of our futures. I had my hand up quickly, to tell them that I was going to have nothing to do with computers. What use were computers to a dancer? The men couldn’t think of a response to that, and agreed that perhaps dancers wouldn’t need to know about computers.
Fifteen year old me could not have imagined the world we now live in. The phone I carry with me is far more powerful than the 486 I ultimately taught myself HTML on. My daughter, a dance student herself, uses computers every day. I wish I’d had access to my entire music library on an iPod, her ability to research ideas online rather than sitting in libraries, and the chance to stay in touch with people she has performed with so easily.
Nothing of what I do professionally existed when I was the age my daughter is now. I am grateful that my teenage angst was recorded in temporary form in diaries and not all over an Internet that never forgets. However I am envious of the photos and video she will have to look back on. What will exist by the time she is my age? That thought is both terrifying and exciting.
At this time of year I often get asked for predictions. What do I think will happen next year, or in five years time? I don’t know, and I’m happy with that. Fifteen year old me thought that what I was doing then, was what I would always be doing. Almost forty year old me is pretty sure there are some amazing things just round the corner. I can’t wait to see what they will help us to create.