“Nobody cares if you can’t dance well. Just get up and dance. Great dancers are great because of their passion.”
― Martha Graham
Growing up I was never much the life of the party. I was always the shy one that hid in the back of the corner with my eyes to the floor. Anytime I was lucky enough to be invited to a party I pretty much keep to myself and whenever my friends would ask me to dance with them I would always say no. Secretly though, I really wanted to join in. Secretly, in my heart I wanted to dance, but I just couldn’t. I felt stupid because in my mind I was the worst dancer ever. I hated that I was so awkward and hated being cursed with two left feet. I truly envied those that were so free with themselves and their body and could move so gracefully though the crowd.
In college I decided to be brave and take a beginner’s ballet class. At first, I was nervous and felt silly because here I was a grown adult with basically zero dance experience taking a ballet class. It didn’t take long before I feel in love with the class. Even though I was unsure of my body and how to make it move the way my teacher was instructing me to, I felt something inside me began to come alive. Slowly, but surely I no longer looked at the ground when I walked around campus and there was a certain pep in my step. I smiled more and began to have more confidence in myself. There in my college ballet class, I realized that there was something about learning to control my body that was helping free myself of all my fears and helping me become a better person.
At the end of the semester my teacher sat me down for my final review and basically told me that I sucked at ballet and that maybe I should consider taking some other elective. I first I was completely shocked and utterly disappointed that a dance instructor would say such a thing to one of their students. Upon further analyzing my dance abilities I realized that in fact I was terrible at ballet, but that wasn’t going to stop me from dancing. I liked what dance was creating inside of me and the person it was creating within me. I wasn’t going to stop.
Since that semester in college I have taken numerous dance classes. I even do yoga on a regular basis to help condition my body to become a better dancer. Each time I take a new class in a new dance form, the challenges before me are great. Most of the time I’m dancing with people that have been dancing all their lives and to watch them dance is truly an amazing sight. I no longer envy them because believe it or not, after many years of professional training, I’m not so bad after all. I’ve preformed at some of the greatest dance halls in my state and in front of hundreds of people. The other day I even had one of the adult beginner students in one of my dance classes tell me, “Darling, when I grow up I want to dance just like you.” “You move so gracefully.” I almost cried then and there.
Maybe I’ll never win “So You Think You Can Dance,” but somehow I don’t think the purpose of dance is to win a competition. The purpose of dance is to free yourself from all your inhibitions, completely embrace your true self and just dance.
Affirmation: I am totally free to become who I was meant to be. I move with grace and effortlessness towards my goal.
Call to Action: What’s something that you’ve always wanted to do, but have been too embarrassed to pursue because the thought of even seeking it out seems silly? Maybe you’ve always dreamt of being a race car driver or an actor on Broadway, but feel like you’re time has passed. Maybe you think you’re too old or have too many responsibilities and no time. I challenge you to get alone in a quiet place and revisit those childhood dreams. Once you start pursuing your dreams there is no telling what will become of you.