The Many Ways We Dance

Happy Saturday, dancers! If you missed me on social media this week, my apologies. I was busy being inspired by the participants of the Reset Your Dance Journey challenge!

The point of the challenge was to reflect on our dance journeys over the last year and honestly assess how the craziness of 2020 affected us and where we stood presently as a result. Then we decided how we wanted to move forward.

Obviously, a lot of us had to deal with the fallout of spending months working hard to prepare for an event, only to have it cancelled. Then there were the studio closings and feelings of isolation as we tried to stay safer at home.

The resilience of the dancers who shared their stories with me was incredible. Some took the break from ballroom as an opportunity to learn new dance styles. Others zeroed in on their technique or physical fitness, determined to show up stronger and more balanced at their next dance lesson (whenever that was!). Still others took advantage of the opportunities to perform in virtual showcases or competitions. I was especially proud of those who saw 2020 as the perfect opportunity to improve their solo practice.

This past week’s challenge really highlighted for me that it doesn’t matter if our studios close or our events are cancelled. We are still dancers and we still find a way to dance. We don’t all find it in the same way, but one way or another, we keep dance in our lives.

As the pandemic rages on (at least in my state), I feel encouraged by those dancers who keep dancing in their living rooms and kitchens, refusing to give up their movement. I feel inspired by those continuing to push themselves out of their comfort zone by dancing their routines on their own, exploring their musicality and artistic expression, or trying brand new dance forms. I feel energized by those who declare “I can do this!” Seriously, you all rock.

Reading about all of the different paths people were taking on their dance journeys was a beautiful reminder that we really can take this art/sport we call dance and make it our own. There is not just one path. I’ve lived that idea for pretty much my entire dance journey.

I’ve always maintained that if I can do it, anyone can. But it takes courage to take a different path than the majority. It takes courage to show up as yourself, even when it goes against the accepted norms. It takes courage to show up for yourself when no one else is around to push you.

Running the challenge this week showed me that there is a lot of courage out there, which gives me courage! Yes, I’ve been competing with a full back tree tattoo since 2014 and refusing to show up as anything less than myself. I still hesitate sometimes. I still wonder if I should just conform, even if only a little, to make it an easier journey.

Last week saw me hesitate big time. It Feels Wrong to Dance was born out of journaling deep and raw emotions. I haven’t posted poetry here before. I’ve told you it’s ok if you don’t feel like dancing, but I’ve never said it was wrong to dance. How would a post like that be received? Would there be backlash, rejection, dismissal?

Whenever I’m scared about making a big or different move that still feels aligned, I feel the fear and do it anyway. I make sure I do it all the way too. Not only did I post the poem on this blog and share it on all of the associated social media pages, I shared it on my Medium page. I shared it everywhere for that one dancer I knew was feeling conflicted like I was. Turns out there was more than one!

Through all of the conflict and struggle, we are all still finding ways to dance and that’s a beautiful thing.

If you missed the challenge, I wanted to offer some of the questions I posed halfway through the week as ways to reflect on where you want to take your dance journey moving forward.

  • Who do I want to be as a dancer?
  • What does being a dancer feel like to me?
  • Why am I dancing?
  • What purpose do I want to give to my dancing?
  • If I couldn’t ballroom dance, how would I move my dance journey forward? 
  • How can I integrate my dance journey with the rest of my life? 

I’d love to hear your thoughts, so please feel free to comment, or if you don’t want to share with the world, you can also email me. 😉

Have a wonderful weekend, dancers!

By the way, if you’re planning on doing more dancing at home and want to create a dedicated space, check out this article someone was kind enough to share with me. Happy dancing!

One thought on “The Many Ways We Dance

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