Yes, I’m Still Dancing: A Series

My relationship with dance is ever-changing. In this short post, I'll describe my recent struggles with dance and how I got through it.

I was put in my first tap class when I was two and quite literally haven’t looked back since. I grew up dancing about five days a week as a competition kid; we would compete at dance competitions on some weekends and train at dance conventions on others. Before I could actually articulate what love was, I knew my first true love was dance. The feeling of performing on stage was incomparable to any feeling I’d ever had. Once I decided to pursue dancing as a career, my love for it changed, for lack of a better word, and my competition-kid ego was immediately squashed.

I quickly learned that Los Angeles dancers are no joke. Los Angeles, in general, is no joke. Throwing myself into this advanced environment pushed me to find my niche and fully commit to it. I fell in love with not just dance itself, but the way I dance. How cool is that? But, a niche is a niche for a reason. Having a unique style can make it harder to find work in entertainment. It’s very possible as long as you remain vigilant, patient, and trust in the timing of your path.

Over time, my confidence as a dancer weakened. I stopped training and made excuses for myself. I started committing strictly to acting and pushed dance aside. The part that breaks my heart the most is that along with dance, I had been neglecting my passion for creating. That little dude inside of me that creates some amazing work was being bullied by my fear. I was afraid that the longer I silenced him, the harder it would be to bring him out again.

“People like you must create. If you don’t create, Bernadette, you will become a menace to society.”

Maria Semple – Where’d You Go Bernadette

Basically, I have been dancing my entire life and have an unbreakable bond with it, but we will forever be experiencing growing pains together. That’s precisely why it’s something I am meant to do with my life. I want you, my lovely readers, to know that it is OK to experience growing pains. Growth hurts and isn’t supposed to be easy! When you have committed yourself to anything for years and years, at some point you may need a little space from it. You’re not betraying yourself, you’re not throwing away years of progress and you’re NOT giving up. You are just taking a little nap after years of being wide awake.

If there is one thing I know for sure, it’s that I miss hanging out with that lil creative guy inside of me and I am making a commitment to honor him from now on. Creatives have to create. Don’t let the fear of not being good enough hold you back. Give yourself the space you need, nourish your soul, and get back to work.

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