I can still remember my first day of dance class. Little five-year-old me in her pink leotard and tights trying so hard to turn out her feet as far as she could to make a perfect first position. That very day I was hooked, I knew right then and there that dance was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. Isn’t it so fascinating how certain activities just happen to bring us more joy than others? That joy has never stopped; dance fills a spot in my heart like nothing else can. What I didn’t expect though, was to find something that exceeds that joy in ways I could have never imagined.
My dream job as a little girl was to be on Broadway. Singing, dancing, and acting ignited my soul with a fire that could not be extinguished. I wanted to be on a Broadway stage performing for the rest of my life; but as I grew older and came to know myself a little better, I realized there was a certain important quality I was lacking. I didn’t have the singing voice that would take me to Broadway. Heck, I didn’t have the singing voice that would take me anywhere. With that in mind I began thinking of a career solely based in dance. Unfortunately, however, I never got the type of dance training that would send me to the professional level. A huge coming of age moment for myself was realizing my lifelong goal of becoming a performer was no longer a possibility; reality hit me like a bus and I had to let go of my childhood dreams. Even though I knew dance was not an option for me as a career path, I wasn’t ready to give it up entirely. I kept dancing all the way through high school and my love for dance continued to remain strong; that is, until the competitiveness of it made me blind to the joy it once brought me. Soon I realized it wasn’t something I felt passionate enough about to carry on into college, so I let it go.
I am a very emotional person and I genuinely enjoy telling others how I feel, what my thoughts are, and how life in general affects me. Dance used to be the outlet I used to meet those needs, but during my first year of college I didn’t have that or any substitution. I really had no way of expressing how I felt or releasing my thoughts in an artistic atmosphere and I truly believe it was one of the causes that led to my loss of self and core identity. So with living a year in a half without doing something I had done my whole life, I decided I needed to start dancing again. Come spring semester of my sophomore year I signed up for Ballet I and Contemporary Jazz, two perfect classes that would ease my body back into the movement of dance. Around the same time of starting these classes I began getting very serious about my writing and even contemplated starting a blog, something I had dreamed of doing since high school. Writing has always been something I’ve enjoyed immensely and something I believe I’m fairly good at, but it wasn’t until this time that I started to feel truly passionate about it.
Writing gives me a freedom I didn’t know I had; a chance to create something all my own and give it out for all to see. I’ve noticed this new piece of myself where my soul willingly bleeds onto the pages in front of me and exposes the deepest depths of my heart. I’ve even found myself randomly writing my thoughts down on sticky notes just so I don’t forget them. Using the art of words and the challenge of articulating them so that they flow smoothly and elegantly has given me a new sense of identity and purpose. Perhaps some may think, What’s the difference in telling others how you feel verbally versus telling others how you feel through writing? Well I’m glad you’ve asked. The difference is that it isn’t as vulnerable or personal. At least that’s how it is for me. I struggle a little bit with explaining to people exactly what is going on in my mind and having to defend my emotions right on the spot during a face-to-face conversation. When I am writing however, it becomes deeply intimate and special where I can take my time delving into how I truly feel and getting the expression of the words just right. I have found a new home in the form of written words and I am ecstatic to share them on my blog moving forward.
Dance has been, for a long time, what makes me feel most myself, and it is clear that during my first semesters of college I sort of lost myself without it. And I am happy to have dance back in my life again, but I’ve come to realize and accept that it doesn’t fill the ache in my heart like it once did. My new passion for writing showed up like a knight in shining armor ready to save the day. It rescued me from my tower of isolation and brought me to a land I never knew would be so fulfilling. Through years of maturing as well as becoming more familiar with who I am and how I act, I’ve come to realize that all I want is to be understood. I have struggled in the past with showing people who I truly am with the fear of disapproval or dislike in mind. I used to keep my thoughts and feelings inward and let dance be the words I was afraid to speak. But now I say no more, I say let the words speak for themselves. From here on out, the keyboard will be my stage and let the words be my dance.