Dance Like Everyone’s Watching

I performed in a dance show last night, and it was awesome.

I have been relatively successful in schooling and career for most of my life, and have led many groups to success or the creation of sustainable organizations. However, one aspect of my life where I have never really felt successful is in my own health and fitness. I’ve been on off and on again diets and exercise plans for years and years, and nothing has ever quite stuck with me, and I’ve never quite enjoyed going to the gym or doing any work out regime I’ve tried (and I’ve tried a lot). Instead, working out has felt arduous and like a chore I have had to force myself to do.

I started dancing again in July 2018 and dance has helped reveal parts of me to myself that I did not know existed. Allowing myself to dance and feel beautiful at the studio has translated into what many of my friends and family have called a “glowing confidence”, even if they have no idea that I frequent this studio. About a month after starting, I stopped wearing makeup, not for any particular reason except for that I didn’t feel like I needed it anymore. Around that same time, I began running, and two months after starting to attend dance classes, I ran my very first 5k and continue to run today. I began eating more salads. I once hated running, and honestly still currently hate salads, but now I feel how different my body is from week to week at dance class, for better or worse each week, and am motivated to continue bettering my health in and out of class. Dance has given me an awareness of my body I did not know I could ever have. I often come home from class and tell my husband that it was nice to “be in my body” for that moment, a feeling that I don’t think I’ve ever felt before my time here.

Another thing that is a little more difficult to capture in only words that I’ve gotten out of my time here is the empowerment that comes from being with strong, confident women. This was my second show, and the energy that comes from being with a group of empowered women is absolutely unparalleled. It is such a unique, energizing, empowering experience to be in touch with my femininity alongside other women who are doing the same. I can’t even think of a single other place where I’ve experienced this feeling.

I love how with dance, there is always something new to learn. I’m just at the very beginning of my journey, but there is nothing more liberating and confidence building than trying to do a trick, failing miserably over and over again, and then one day, just doing it. That moment where it just happens–this thing that you did not think your body could do–is nothing short of magical. It’s happened to me multiple times now, and I can’t get enough of that feeling. It’s something that has started to translate into my day to day life as well. Things that I thought were absolutely impossible seem far more attainable now that I have seen the world through these eyes. It just takes a step a day, a little movement in the direction you want to go, to make what once were dreams into reality.

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