Dancing has never really been a part of my life, not formally anyways. I never did dance classes when I was young. The small hamlet that I grew up in didn’t even have a dance studio.
My first introduction to dance came when I was in my teens I started going to school dances. I can still remember the excitement/terror of being in the gym with dimmed lights. What? We are supposed to move to the music? Really?! They were fun, and I just pretended to know what I was doing when I moved around on the dance floor. The fast songs were about having a crazy time with your girlfriends and the slow songs maybe meant dancing in a circle with someone (or at least trying to look cool while waiting on the sidelines for the fast songs to come back on.)
Even though dance had never really been part of my life I still always felt drawn to it. I remember watching some performances at university. I was in awe of the beauty and the storytelling that can happen when people move to beautiful music.
I have been to a few ballet performances that left me breathless as I watched the dancers’ strength, beauty and artistry. And I went to Broadway shows where amazingly talented people danced, acted AND sang.
And then I had my little girl. S showed an affinity for dance when she was about two. It was a beautiful, heart-warming performance that we called her “hula dance,” which she usually performed right before she hopped into the bathtub. “She’s got rhythm!” I remember saying to my husband.
S was about five when I decided to sign her up for ballet class. (I say “I” because as little as I knew about dance, my husband knew even less.)
And so our adventure began. One ballet class led to ballet and jazz, and then hip and tap were added to the mix, and then the big decision to make the jump from recreational to competitive.
As my daughter learns dance, I feel I am learning too. Not the techniques and moves – heck, I’m way too old for that! But I’m learning about the artistry of dance and how it can push you to new limits, take you to new places, and teach you new things – even when you are just the dance momma cheering quietly from backstage.