Passion Offers Perspective

Note to self: Try to have the courage to dance as if no one is looking, even when you know you’re attracting a crowd.


I thought I was having a bad day. Then I watched this video. Now a gigantic, open mouth smile has planted itself on my face, and I can’t shake it. Feel totally justified in dropping whatever you’re doing to watch this. And if you’re like me, you’ll need to go ice your cheeks down afterwords.

The sheer passion, not to mention stage presence, of this kid is captivating! What style! What grace! 9 years old? Amazing. This is the way I try to dance when no one is looking, but I’m not this good! The old-school green screen reminds me of my childhood and makes everything even better. Plus I’m pretty sure this is the view from our Studiomates windows from 20 years ago.

Thank you, Twitter, for reminding me:

1. I’d rather fully commit to living passionately than to blend in playing it safe, even if it means attracting eye rolls or criticism.

2. It’s FRIDAY!

Thank you to my friend Courtney Martin for tweeting this as it was posted on The Hairpin blog: DEMOLISHES is right. And thank you Robert Jeffrey for being this committed to your craft at such an early age. You made my day, and I hope we can meet sometime soon. Oh, Humans, you never fail to find some way to delight me!


  1. Prescott Perez-Fox

    I think it’s rightly in order that we perform a “cover” of this video, shot with the real DUMBO in the background. Give me a few hours and I’ll learn this dance. It may take me longer to get the outfit, though. That’s your duty!

  2. Barb McMahon

    Thanks for the smile!  I think we should Vogue every Friday afternoon…  (I found you through your TED talk btw - Brilliant!)

  3. Christina

    I love this video! Saw you on TED..ur such an inspiration! -C.C.

  4. Keri

    Ditto the last comments.  Also saw you on TED via ETSY.  Very cool!

  5. Brenna

    I feel super lucky to have found your site!  I saw you on TED, too.  After I watched your video, I was like, “Hell yeah, I can rock it!”  Thank you!

  6. Mer

    Saw you on TED & found this link. You are inspiring, funny, & smart. I’m gonna be coming around here a LOT. Thanks for giving me a new challenge.

  7. Chrissie

    So get up on the dance floor!

  8. Evita Martina

    Dear Jessi,
    Like many others here, I too found you via your TED Talk —which BTW put a big smile on my face. I’m not quite sure though about all your fashion choices… gold sequence… goes with everything?? Uhuh. ;-))

    Truly loved your TED-Thursday and TED-Saturday outfits. Goes to prove again that Mom really knows best and that fashion can be conscious and at the same time make you happy.

    And in line with your TED Talk, your dance-video-post broadened this smile on my face. Reminding me that I really do need to hit that dancefloor; even if I’m the only granny dancing. :-)

    A big Hat Tip to you, Rainbow Girl!


  9. Alex

    AH! So great!
    So What i needed today too!

    Your blog is brilliant!

    Happy Friday!

  10. Danielle Gould

    This just put a smile on my face as well. You’re fantastic!

  11. skinnypea

    awesome! smilling like a fool ooooooh now!

  12. Wendy

    Wow!  Also found you thru TED.

  13. Rachel McDonald

    Great, thank you so much!  Your fantastic TED talk and your blog has reminded me to live my life for me instead of surveying to see where I fit in. 

    I agree with Barb - Vogue every Friday!


    I have just found your blog, and I love it.
    I thought I was the only woman in the world who travels only with her underwear in the knowlwdge that I will find second- hand clothes wherever I go.

  15. Fatima2t

    I watched your Ted talk and i love your optimism! its refreshingly inspirational!
    this video is just too adorable! like u i have a huge smile on my face! thanks and keep spreading the joy :)

  16. Rebecca

    Like lots of others here, I saw you on TED too. I love your joie de vivre!  Please tell us more about your family, your mom and how you were raised.  Others should know how to produce such a happy, positive, confident person.  (Or maybe you were just born that way!)

    I might be wrong, but I think the clothes you wear look great because you are young and pretty.  Some of us older people would look scary in those outfits.  But the main idea is:  we should all be just who we really are.

    Much love!

  17. Wendy

    I agree Rebecca that as an older person I too would look scary in some ‘goodwill’ outfits.  I have, in the past bought clothes from goodwill but now I have a new passion for going to sort thru those racks and I will find something!

    My husband thinks its a great idea only taking underwear on vacation and then buying ‘new’ stuff when I arrive at our destination.  The hunt is such a thrill.

  18. MaryBeth at Top Drawer Vintage

    Thank you for being seriously amazing:

    A girl I know sent me the link to your video & it totally made my night.

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