When I was six years old, my mom enrolled me in a dance class, as many moms do.
For some reason, it was not my cup of tea. It was a combination class, so each week we rotated between ballet/tap and tumbling. And though that sounds awesome now, I guess for some reason I didn't like it, so my parents let me stop after I finished that first year, although I did make a pretty cute bumblebee for recital.
Four years later found me watching my older sister and her classmates perform at their ballet recital, and this time, something in me was captivated by the magic. From their graceful expression of the music to the way they seemed to float and fly around the stage to the soft swish of their tutus, I was a girl enamored. That was the beginning of a lifelong journey and love of dance. The person I am today owes a great deal to the art of dance and the instruction and nurturing guidance of my dance teachers.
The wonderful thing about dance is that it serves not only as a hobby but also as a physical activity and what I would call holistic therapy. Out of my seven siblings, I’m probably the least athletically inclined, but dance gave me an opportunity for the physical exercise, cardio, and strength that every person needs, and so much more.
As a shy teenager, dance gave me a close tribe of friends and a new way to express myself; it taught me poise, grace, and confidence both on and off the stage. As a stressed and anxious college student, dance gave me a much-needed break and distraction from academia and invigorated me mentally, emotionally and physically upon my return to the never-ending homework.
And now as a dance teacher and studio-owner, dance never ceases to provide me with an opportunity for personal growth, leadership development, better health, and creativity. It also gives me the privilege and honor of mentoring the next generation of dancers and passing on the age-old love of this art form to them.
So how can dance help you?
Dance develops poise, grace, self-confidence and body positivity. It enhances musicality, rhythm, creativity, expression, performance, and your willingness to step beyond your comfort zone. And, as a great way to meet new friends, dance encourages teamwork, trust, respect, and hard work.
Maybe you’re that six-year-old who quit dance because you thought it wasn’t for you, or maybe you’re an advanced dancer who’s been dancing your entire life – or maybe you’re somewhere in between. We hope you consider trying out a dance class if you haven't before; it might just change your life! But whether it takes place in a ballet class, on the street, or in your living room, I'm sure you'll agree with us that dance can bring magic and priceless joy to an otherwise ordinary life.
Why did you start dancing? What do you like best about it? Can you relate to something Rachel wrote about? Comment below and let us know your thoughts on why people should dance!