5, 6, 7, 8, Dance!
It’s easy really, I dance because I love it! My dance journey started when I was young. My family tell me that as soon as I could walk, I loved moving to music. I would call dancing ‘la la.’ It was when I was little that I asked my parents if I could attend dance class. Or ‘la la class’ as I called it. I attended my local dance school at four years old but shortly after starting had to stop. I had bad asthma and eczema, which meant I had to miss lots of classes. It wasn’t until I was seven that I re started again when my asthma and eczema was under control.
I initially only attended a freestyle class (or disco as it was called back then). Even though my Mum asked me several times and tried to persuade me to do ballet I wasn’t interested. I thought ballet was boring. I didn’t like the slow classical music and had no interest in it. It wasn’t until a few years after starting freestyle that I began ballet. I had attended a holiday dance club ran by my dance teacher’s sister and you had to participate in all dance styles. I remember doing the ballet class and we learnt a small dance piece from the ballet Coppélia. As I was dancing I thought, 'you know what this ballet stuff is actually quite cool.' The rest is history and from that day on I was obsessed with ballet. Its ballet I went onto get some of my highest grades in and later in life dedicate my whole dissertation to at university. I started doing more and more dance classes. Each week I would come home and ask to do another. I would see the older dancers in class, ask my dance teacher what style it was, then go home and say “Mum can I do rock n roll class please?” Then before long I was studying all the theatre dance styles. But it’s a very simple answer to say I dance because I love it. It’s my passion. Which is true. However, below are the other reasons why I dance?
Dance has helped me so much mentally. When you dance you can’t really think of anything else apart from the steps your performing. It’s a great way to escape, truly live in the moment and it’s a brilliant to help you relax. Dance has also been a constant thing in my life. My parents were excellent at been very consistent with taking me to class. No matter how busy they were or if someone was ill or sick (and believe me in my family there has been a lot of serious illness) I have always attended dance class. Dance has formed a structure in my life and given me a focus. If times are bad or good dance is there waiting for me. Even when pregnant I carried on dancing right up until two weeks before giving birth and even through a global pandemic I have kept dancing, teaching loads and loads of zoom classes.
Dance gives me confidence. People naturally think that because you like performing and dancing on stage that your very confident and a natural extrovert. Well I’m not! I’m actually very shy and more of an introvert. I enjoy my own company and only have a small circle of friends, but dance has really given me confidence. Its helped me develop skills that I can transfer into other areas of my life and it almost gives you this special power that makes you feel like you can achieve anything. I remember my cousin came to watch me dance once and he said after “Wow I didn’t think you would be able to dance on stage like that. You were so confident, like a different person.” He was use to the quiet me and he had saw dancer me. Whenever I get nervous, I try to draw on dancer Amy to give me the confidence to do whatever I need to do.
Dance has made me physically strong. As I mentioned earlier I have suffered with asthma most of my life and was encouraged to exercise to improve my cardio strength and lungs. Dance has definitely helped me to stay strong and healthy. I also have a slight curve of the spine and after seeing a spine specialist to decide if I required surgery or not. He noted taking regular ballet class as one of the main reasons why I had good posture and the reason why my spinal curve was not worse than what it was. Luckily I didn’t require an operation.
I have so many things to thank dance for and it has played a huge part in shaping my life. If you have a passion or interest I would advise trying to pursue it. You never know where it will take you!
Now tell me, why do you dance?