I have a dance lesson at the day's end so I have a treasure at the end of today's rainbow. I wish that my passion and excitement for my lesson equalled (even half) of what I used to feel.
The dance studio has been my 'Cheers' for many, many years. A place where 'everybody knows my name. A place where I walk in, forget the life that I lead outside of those doors and co mingle with a group of people who are there for the love of dance.
Oh, how much fun it was! Laughter came easily (it still does). The music played and we learned new steps, techniques and patterns and our bodies moved to the tempo of the music (we still do).
What has changed?
The male to female ratio is one that can never be predicted. There have been times where there are more men than women. Other times there is a partner of the opposite sex for everyone. It is the overwhelming number of times where the females outnumbered the males by far, that resonate within me. I don't mind learning the lead. In fact I appreciate the lessons learned in understanding the challenges that the 'lead' is contending with. But honestly? I would rather follow. It is my nature. I love that the sport of dancing has naturally put me in a position I am comfortable with. Following another person's lead.
Then there is the lack of goal-setting. I can't begin to imagine how frustrating this must be as an instructor. How do you plan a lesson when there is no real end goal in sight? We used to have dance showcases every year. Interest has dwindled and (I believe) they lost money when they held the last showcase. Even if they did put on another showcase, I am not in a financial position to participate...
I competed in one dance competition. There was no shortage of goals there! It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. I savored every moment of the preparation, the trip, the actual competition and the camaraderie among the group from our studio that attended. But I do not have a competitive nature. My competitions are internal. I am my own harshest judge. I don't need medallions or ratings to know where I stand. There is always room for improvement but my biggest measure of success is in how much fun that I have had.
My private lessons are always fun-filled. My instructor intuitively steers his lessons towards the nature of his students. Some of us are there for the fun-factor. Sometimes there is a dose of 'therapy' that is worked into that half hour lesson. I feel safe, capable of learning, free to make mistakes and laugh along the way.
Dancing has enhanced my self esteem a thousandfold. I have enjoyed so many years within those studio walls. I walk in and check my troubles at the door. It is never a conscious decision. It simply happens. I have become the princess at the ball time and time again. Participating in showcases gives a girl an excuse to primp, accessorize and wear a ball gown. It has been a young girl's fantasy come true. Time and time again.
I hope that this is not the end of dancing for me. I see another dance hiatus around the next corner but I hope that is not the end of an era. I want to find my passion again. I lost it these past few years. I haven't been able to find it on the dance floor. I am finding it elsewhere.
I am (perhaps) spread too thin in some areas of my life. I'm working to regain the balance that spells contentment. It is coming. I feel it. I am breathing in the world and I am feeling revived. My oxygen levels must have been lower than I realized because it is taking longer than I thought it would, to regain my equilibrium again.
I am going to breathe in the day today. So that when I walk into the dance studio tonight, I will not only leave my troubles at the door ... perhaps I will bring in a breath of fresh air with me.
"Great dancers are not great because of their technique; they are great because of their passion."
~ Martha Graham