Ever since I can remember I have loved to dance. It began at age five, when I was a “baby ballerina”. From there I moved to Tap dancing, then Jazz, then Acro, then Ballet, and finally Pointe dancing. I have always been drawn to dance, though it is only in recent years that I discovered why.
Dancing for me is an escape. It is an escape from the realities of this world, too often harsh and unpleasant. When I dance, everything else fades; the stress, the drama, and the aggravations of everyday life. Gone is the impending exam, the flat tire, the bad weather. When I dance, all that exists is movement and music, steps and sound. Dancing is a form of embracing the soul, and when I dance, nothing else matters. It gives meaning to life.
When I was 13, I was dancing with a group called “Pop Starz”. After finishing an meaningful and long performance, I walked off the stage still catching my breath. To my surprise there was a little girl, maybe five years old, with a pen in one hand and a scrap of paper in the other. I didn’t think much of it until she approached me shyly, and asked “can I have your autograph?”. It was when I saw the look on her face that I realized that dancing did not only have effect on me. It had an effect on those watching me, and they in some small way shared in the escape that I felt.
The effects of listening to music and dancing to it are completely different. They almost cannot be compared. Not only does music create sensation to the ear, but when you’re dancing and when there is movement, music flows through the whole body. It is in this experience that I feel truly free; nothing can hurt me, nothing can stop me. I am unable to agonize, worry, or contemplate. I am simply driven by the music, dancing in the moment.
As I grew older, I moved from learning dance to teaching it. This was an entirely new side of dance for me. All of a sudden I was helping in the process of creating future dancers. I saw a piece of myself in each little girl I taught. I watched these little girls in the process of acquiring a sense of their own style, and applying it to their dancing, the same way I did when I was young. It is my hope that I also instilled in them the same sense of freedom that I experience from dancing, the same sense of escape.
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