When I think back to the dancing days of my youth, I could go on forever about the joy it brought to my life. I felt invigorated when I was on the stage! While I may not have been the most limber dancer, the steps came easy to me for the most part and I learned my routines with confidence. I also found myself feeling a connection to the music that allowed me emote when performing, something that I still feel to this day when I hear certain songs. When I watch dancers today, I’ve noticed that emotion is such a pivotal piece to the story that they are telling through dance. Needless to say, I was thrilled when my daughter started to show signs of sharing this passion. It has felt great to reconnect the dance world again. So when I had the chance to partake in the action, I took a leap of faith (or maybe a grand jete!) into the studio again!
Enter, adult tap! I know that not every dancer has participated in tap, or maybe stopped at a young age, but it was always an enjoyable part of class for me! The number of sounds that could come from ones foot in a tap shoe was so fascinating! Couple that with an admiration for performers like Savion Glover, who showed me that tap could bridge the gap between a classical Broadway style upbringing and funky, bass driven beats. His innovation definitely inspired my dance teachers growing up and some of the routines I performed in. On my first night of class this year, the music was pumping and the energy was high! I was excited to see what I remembered and what I could learn brand new. You see, I find myself tapping when I don’t necessarily realize that I’m doing it. Including the time I returned from Mexico last winter, and while waiting for my bags in customs, my boredom and impatience led me to begin to Time Step in place to pass the time….which led customs officers to find me antsy, aka suspicious. As my bags were getting the ever so friendly extra search, I tried to make small talk about my class and how happy dancing again made me feel. They were not impressed, although one agent told me to keep it up, just save it for class! So back to class I went, and I was able to work on perfecting steps that I had tucked into the back of my brain. Warming up became essential for my age, and the camaraderie I felt with the gals brought me friendships that I hadn’t felt in years-like the “dance friends” that I had when I was younger. Maybe we were in different schools or grades, but when were at the studio it didn’t matter because we were all there with one common thread: dance brought us joy. That feeling was back in my life and for that, I was and continue to be thankful!
The talks at class began to shift to whether or not we should perform in the recital. We all were on board, but as the days went on and the routine progressed, I couldn’t help but wonder, “am I in over my head?!” My great ability to memorize my dances in my youth was long gone, and I found myself in unfamiliar territory. But I pushed on, practiced at home and leaned on my fellow dancers for support. This has been the year of doing things outside of my comfort zone and not giving up, and dance would be no exception. Dress rehearsal was nerve racking, but ultimately went off without a hitch! I was fortunate enough to have my family and a few good friends there to watch and cheer me on, thankfully! The actual performance went even better and we ended up getting three new ladies to register for class next year! I’m excited to see where things will go next year and I look forward to continuing this renewed spirit and love of dance!
The takeaway from all of this is that you are never too old or busy to find joy. Whether it’s reconnecting with something old, or mustering up the confidence to try something new, happiness and all that comes with it is essential to our survival and personal health. The growth and fulfillment is just an added bonus 💙