It's been almost a week since we lost a legend. A man who's spirit could fill a room and change your life in a single lyrical class.
Doug Caldwell embodied what it means to dance freely and with love. He was celebrated worldwide. As I scroll through my newsfeed, every single dancer I know and respect is feeling his loss so deeply and that says so much about him.
I wasn't his close friend or colleague. But I feel a deep sense of mourning in light of his passing. I danced with him in hotel ballrooms for my entire childhood, as did so many others, and not having him in this world feels overwhelmingly sad.
As I remember him, I think about how in the Junior room at Tremaine, he would ask us if we had a hidden talent we wanted to show off. He called me on stage once. I took off my glasses with my toes while in a back bend. How weird. I smile thinking about how weird we all were and how much he celebrated all of us. He celebrated the weirdness of a child and the weird things we wanted to show him. He was so loud and wonderful. And then we danced together for Buddha, Allah, Jesus, and the God of Dance. He made us feel alive and connected, but made sure we knew it was ok to be different as well.
There's not much more to say. His power was not in his words, but in who he was. The way he walked around the room to look you in the eye and smile as you danced. He made us all better dancers without telling us with words. And he's so hard to capture in words because of that.
My heart is heavy. He will live on as one of my favorite dancers of all time. Thank you Doug. RIP.