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I Hope You Dance

I love dancing. I've danced since I was very young. There are videos of me dating back to my toddler years dancing around without even any music playing. Who needs music when you've got the music in you? I took ballet and tap dance for many years as a kid. Then I took dance cardio classes for a while. For a long long while, I just danced on my own. I'd put on music and dance around the living room, my own toddler dancing with me. I danced as I vacuumed (because vacuuming needs some serious dance moves to make it interesting). I danced in the kitchen while making dinner. I danced scrubbing toilets. There seems to be a theme here.

So one day, I came upon a sign for local cardio belly dance classes that were super close to my house. I signed up. I loved it so much that I started taking additional dance lessons there. I learned some dance choreography. I prepped to actually perform. In front of people. It came to performance time and I completely choked. Not just a little. A lot of choking. Terrible fear gripped me and I let it take over. I walked out and didn't go back. For like 10 years. Seriously.

I squashed the dance in me. I decided it wasn't for me. I was not a dancer. This was not something I could do. Not for me. For other people, yes, but not me. I did not have it in me. I was convinced. It was something about me. I wasn't made for dancing. I no longer danced in the kitchen. I no longer danced while vacuuming. Then my son's wedding came and I swear I made up for lost time. My apologies to the rest of the family. It was like years of dance flowed out of me and I couldn't stop. I danced all night. It felt glorious. Like a part of me was back. I realized then that I wanted to bring dance back to my life. A few months later, I saw the same dance troupe that I had left all those years ago. They were performing locally. I talked to the studio owner. I started going to classes again.

This time, I knew I didn't want to quit. I didn't want fear to stop me. I started to believe that it was not something broken in me that stopped me before. Fear has a funny way of convincing you of that. Fear says, "You aren't cut out for this". And you believe it. Fear says, "This is for other people, not you. You are never going to be able to do this." Fear says, "Stay in your lane, sister."

The support of the other dancers has been incredible. I am so grateful. I performed for the first time this summer, and felt the joy again. The incredible freedom I feel as I move around the stage. It's as if a puzzle piece shifted into place. I see myself as a dancer. I did it. Fear was wrong. I stepped out of my comfort zone and felt amazing empowerment.

Have you had this experience before? Has fear held you back from something that you wanted to do? Have you listened to the messages about how you're not ever going to be able to do it? How it's not for you? What happened? What stories do you hear now?

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1 Comment

Jeff Gavin
Jeff Gavin
Sep 28, 2021

Love this. I hope it's true. The ending anyway. Yeah. I need to dance more.

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