I’ve never really known the meaning of the phrase “It’s like learning to ride a bike…” because I never really learned to ride a bike, at least not as a child, nor very well. But what I did learn was how to dance. And apparently, the saying is true for dancing as well, because last night, after at least fifteen non-dancing years, I attended a hip hop dance class and it all came flooding back.
Walking into that dance studio brought on a flood of unexpected emotions.
It was like walking into my own skin.
It was like coming home.
Burt family legend says that I emerged from the womb snapping my fingers. I choreographed “shows” starring me, myself, and I to the Mickey Mouse Club, Sean Cassidy and the Osmonds for my parent’s parties. And I refused to begin until everyone was silent and all eyes were on me.
I started actual classes at age five and danced off and on til my early twenties.
When I was eight, my parents had the extra bedroom converted into a dance room, complete with wood floors, a ballet bar and one entire wall covered with a floor to ceiling mirror. Hours upon hours I spent in that room and in dance classes; on my toes, twirling, jumping, posing. Ballet, jazz, hip hop. It really didn’t matter, as long as it was dance.
I was my true self when I was dancing. I was the happiest, the purest. I was me.
I have no idea why I stopped dancing. Fear of failure? Lack of motivation? Low self-esteem? A combination of all three? I think my priorities shifted as soon as my tween hormones kicked in. Suddenly boys seemed more appealing to hang out with than ballet bars. And then, as I aged, “life just got in the way” I suppose.
Regardless of why I stopped, I am now fighting the urge to dwell on regret, wondering what could have been if I had continued to dance. And wondering how it is that I have been away from something I love so much for so long. I only allow myself to sit with those thoughts momentarily before I snap back into the reality that is my life now. Which is wonderful; full of love and joy.
Last night was just a reminder to me that dance is still in me. Of course, I’ve always found ways to incorporate jazz hands or a booty pop into everything I do, but now, with this new dance class, in a studio, with a teacher and actual routines, I have the opportunity to feel that joy again, to express that piece of me that has been mute for so long.
And I can’t tell you how great it feels.
What is the thing that makes you feel the most joy? The most like yourself? Do you do it on a regular basis? Why or why not? Discuss.
P.S. The dance studio is called The Carlsbad Performing Arts Academy and the class is on Tuesday nights at 7:30pm if you’re interested in shaking your groove thang with me and a gaggle of mommy bloggers including Red Lotus Mama, Rock On Mommies, Mommy Loves Coffee and Hip Mama B.