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When I was around 7 or 8 years old, I begged my parents to let me take a ballet class. I can’t remember what prompted the need, but I recall asking, begging, pleading. They finally succumbed. I loved everything about it: the pink slippers, the tights, the teachers, the studio, the music, the smells, the other dancers, and of course the movement. And come on, what little girl doesn't love a tutu!
In my teens I was in a pre-professional program where I danced 5 days a week – ballet, tap, jazz, modern, and even some more “modern” styles (at the time it was break dancing). I learned to be courageous - taking leaps and trying new things with my body. Going on auditions with people that I thought were so much better than me and learning to have faith in myself and my ability to do it.
I danced well into my late teens and then when we moved across the country I stopped. The dance lessons at least.
In my twenties, I continued to dance. Then it was in nightclubs not dance studios. I would hit the dance floor when I entered and barely leave until the end of the night.
Then kids, work, life took over. I stopped dancing. I then watched my daughter and nieces dance.
On my fortieth birthday last year, I decided to give myself a special gift. I went to Kripalu for a week to attend JourneyDance™ teacher training. It was a magical week that reminded me of my love for dance. It connected me to my true Self. Since then I have tried to dance every week, whether at home or out.
In September, I went a step further and signed up for an adult intermediate ballet class. It was my first ballet class in twenty years. And I love it. Of course, my body doesn’t quite move the way it used to. My brain remembers the moves but the body doesn’t quite get the message. But it doesn’t matter. Every week I get stronger and better. And most importantly, I love it for the same reasons I did when I was seven: the pink slippers, the tights, the studio, the piano, and the beautiful movements. It fills me with joy.
The process has taught me so much about myself. Life is so often like a great ballet dance. The better the dancer is – the more graceful and beautiful – the stronger she is. It takes great strength, agility, courage, faith and commitment to be so graceful.
I have fallen in love all over again. This time, I am holding onto it.
Glenda at Myles Ahead Studio is a professional marketing strategist working to bring more creativity into business and make more ideas come to life.