To many, dance is just another hobby or extracurricular activity. For some, however, dance is a privilege, a major part of their lives, an escape. This is what dance is to me.
Where It All Began…
When I was around the age of six I started dance. At the time I really didn’t know what I was doing. I signed up a tad too late in the season, so I got stuck in a class with girls a few years older than me. (I would later find out that this isn’t really a bad thing after all!) My dance teachers were super nice. I loved recitals and all the makeup and costumes I got to put on. However, I really didn’t seem to grasp the concept of practicing until much later in life and I dreaded putting on a leotard more than anything. After a few years, I really don’t know what happened other than the fact that I just gave up. I began to skip classes and finally just quit dance all together. Only one or two years later, though, I felt like I had made a mistake and decided to try out a different studio. This studio was much different than I had expected and I wasn’t willing to give it a try. So once again, I quit only after a few weeks. I then decided to take a break from dance for another two years. After two years I felt desperate to give dance once more chance. I found another different studio where I am fortunate enough to continue to dance at now. I started out kind of rough, trying to catch up on all of the things I should have learned over the years. My second year at the studio was a lot better and I even began to practice more often at home. About halfway through my second year was when it really hit me: I needed to dance. Dance is no longer a hobby, it is a passion. My thoughts about dance today are stronger than ever before. I now practice dance everyday, essentially whenever I have the time. Dance has changed my life in amazing ways.
So Why Is Dance So Important To Me? Dancing brings me so much joy. I cannot even put into words how much I love to dance. I am constantly striving to improve. I try to get involved in as many dance opportunities as possible, whether it is watching dance or actually taking classes. I research professional dancers online and watch their videos as my jaw drops every time! I look up dance quotes, inspiring me beyond belief. I can simply never get enough! Dance moves me. Dance is my escape from reality; it’s how I express myself. Dance is how I convey my feelings when they are too deep for words. Dance lights up my life even on the darkest of days. Dance has created me. It has taught me so many life lessons and virtues. In dance, we learn the virtue of self-discipline. We learn to have patience with both ourselves and other people. We learn to listen more than to speak. We learn to be committed and dedicated to what we love. Dancing pushes me to work hard and follow my dreams. Dance excites me each and every day. Dance allows me to let everything go. Dance makes me stronger and allows me to improve. I just need dance. Dance is the one thing I can turn to when I have nothing else. Dance keeps me in shape. It helps me to live in the moment. Dance is so enjoyable! Dance helps me to be brave and step out of my comfort zone.
When I reflect on my early dance years, I feel sad that I did not recognize the beauty of dance, but I could not be more grateful to have made the decision to come back. I was concerned at first because I didn’t think I would be able to make up for all the years of dance I had already lost. However, as best stated by one of my favorite professional ballerinas, Misty Copeland, “You can start late, look different, be uncertain, and still succeed”. Dance saved me. I truly do not believe I could have made it through these past few years without dance being an active part of my life. I now appreciate the beauty of constructive criticism from my amazing teachers and I even find the reasoning behind wearing a leotard! Sometimes I go to dance because I am falling apart and other times I go to dance to pick myself back up. Dance never fails to do either of these things!
It is very difficult to put into words my appreciation for dance as I do not think I have ever felt so strongly about anything. In simplest terms, I need dance more than I need anything else in life. Dance is a journey through the mind, through the heart, and through the soul. Dance is my motivation that helps to push me through life. Dance is a universal language. Dance is what makes me happy and healthy and I vow to take advantage of it’s “magic” each and everyday of my life. Havelock Ellis speaks the truth when he claims “Dancing is the loftiest, the most moving, the most beautiful of the arts, because it is not mere translation or abstraction from life, it is life itself”.
What is your passion in life? Why do you love it so much? Write in the comments below or check out my Contact page to email me directly! Thank you for reading!