World of Dance CEO and NBC World of Dance executive producer Matthew Everitt recently wrote a letter to the amazing World of Dance community. Check it out below.

2018 marks the 10 year anniversary for World of Dance, and as CEO I couldn’t be more proud of the memories we’ve created. It’s a great time to look back and reflect, and we’re excited to hear your stories and share many of them on ThisisWOD.com. At the same time, we also have to look forward and keep working. As an organization, we’re ready to grow more boldly and creatively than ever.

It reminds me of this story I love.

A man was walking through an elephant camp when he noticed there were no walls, no cages, no structures, nothing blocking the elephants. What he discovered was that the elephants were being contained only by a small piece of rope tied to one of their legs.

The man was confused. These elephants were massive and powerful. If they just used their strength, they could easily break the rope and escape the camp. But instead they didn’t try at all.

Curious to know why, the man asked a trainer nearby for an explanation. The trainer told him that when the elephants are much younger and smaller, the same size rope is enough to hold them. As the elephants grow up, they are conditioned to believe the rope will always hold them.

The only reason the elephants weren’t breaking free and escaping from the camp was because over time they adopted the belief that it wasn’t possible. They didn’t realize how strong and powerful they had become. They didn’t realize the only thing holding them back was their mindset.

I think World of Dance is like one of these elephants. For many years, we’ve been growing slowly but steadily. Year and after, getting bigger and stronger. Today I really believe we’ve become a powerful giant, capable of anything. We must use our strength to provide opportunity and encouragement to dancers around the world, and to celebrate and honor this movement we have been a part of.

Unlike an elephant, we are a dynamic team and community. We cannot move solely because one person says so. As one of our core values reminds us, we must do it together. It takes everyone contributing their individual strength and effort so that we have the collective power to break free.

Heading in to our 2018 competition season, let’s reimagine what’s possible and re-commit to crushing it together. #CreateTogether

Tune into NBC World of Dance this May to see the world’s best dancers battle it out. Don’t miss exclusive interviews, performances, and more from the definitive source for all things NBC World of Dance. Keep up with all the latest news on This Is WOD.