We all have our “go to passion,” and “stress reliever.” I happen to have a passion for dance. It is very important to always remember to go back to what makes you happy as you get older to maintain your quality of life.
I still remember my first ever dance teacher. Her name was Melissa and I thought she was so pretty and loved her light purple lipstick with purple/brown lip liner. The year was 2000, I was three and the class was ballet. This is the year it all started for me, my love and passion for the art of dance.
Dance has always been there for me throughout my life. I have so many memories that connect back to dance. “Let’s start from the top”.
From the years 2000 – 2004 I took ballet. Now that I’m a little older and wiser I appreciate the art form but, when you’re little, and have a small attention span, it can be the most boring thing you have to endure. I thank my mom for enrolling me in ballet because I know all of basic feet and arm positions, and some fancy french words like releve, plie, jete, rond de jambe and retire. The foundation to any dancer is ballet and lessons learned.
From 2005 – 2011 I took hip-hop lessons. Why? I honestly don’t know. I guess I thought it would be fun and less constricting than ballet was. Looking back I wish I just took jazz instead because that really is my style but, more on that later. Hip-hop is fun but, not for me. At the time I didn’t realize this but, it explains why when I was 13 and started high-school I quit dancing because I thought I was a horrible dancer. Honestly, I thought that because I truly felt awkward with the style, I knew something was wrong. Also, I had a horrible body image of myself at 13. I was pre-period and felt uncomfortable dancing because I thought I was bigger than the other girls in the class.
I took a couple of years off of studio lessons, grade 9 and 10 to be exact. However, during these years two amazing things happened. I met two amazing dance teachers that changed my view of the art.
Ms. Sheila taught me Jr. Cheer for a local CFL football team for five years and also jazz for one year. It wasn’t power cheer it was just dancing with pom poms. Performing as a cheerleader and being part of a positive dance community was one of the biggest confidence boosters in my teen years. I was older and felt more confident.
Miss Lisa taught me grade 10, 11 and 12 dance class at my high-school. Looking back at high-school I realize I am very fortunate to have 3 out of my 30 credits from a dance. Finally, a class that was just fun. I thank Miss for forcing me into the front row in grade 10, and encouraging my dance skills through my love of Jazz. Due to her influence, I started dance lessons at a studio at the beginning of grade 11.
My last two years of dance were jazz classes. A part of me regrets not starting jazz sooner but, I do believe in the saying, “everything happens for a reason.”
I ended off my dance life in June 2015 when I became 18. Once you turn 18 you become an adult in the dance world, and have to find adult classes. Let me tell you where I live it is very hard to adult dance options.
Once I started university I found it difficult to not have dance in my life anymore. It was something that had always been there for me, and acted as an outlet to express myself. My anger, joy, sadness and frustration would all be captured, and released through my freestyle choreography. Dancing in my living room is one thing I love to do. It feels great to release built up energy and tension but, it’s not the same as being a part of a class learning a new combo.
Dance was my form of exercise and activity. I look back at my whole life and the majority of my movement came from dancing at a studio or at school. Dance seemed to stop all of a sudden, and that was scary. Especially since you don’t know how else to work out and everyone talks about the freshman fifteen. My friend and I found barre classes, group fitness and yoga. I am still in search of a great adult dance class I can go to, and learn some new choreography.
Dancing was, and is still a hobby of mine, never something competitive or career worthy. I dance for me, to create happiness in my life, and I will continue to dance as long as my body will let me. Just because you aren’t a competitive dancer doesn’t mean you aren’t great; a true dancer dances from their heart, a place of love, creativity and passion; skill is just an asset.
We welcome you to share your thoughts about the power of dancing or if you are a dancer in the comments below. We would love to start a conversation with you!
Peace and Love,