How dance changed my life
Dance has always been a part of human culture, rituals and celebrations. Dancing is an enjoyable way to be more physically active and stay fit. For some it is a career and way of life.
For me, I started dancing lessons at age 9 when my sister found a flyer to try a local class of ballet and tap. I was curious to say the least and can honestly say, after begging mom to let us try a class, that decision changed my life forever.
Since that very first ballet class at the Legion Hall in Laguna Beach, I knew dance would be a part of my life somehow, some way!
I was blessed to have a teacher who took notice of my natural drive and potential to learn, and my teacher even offered free lessons to me just to keep me coming to class when times were harder for my parents to pay for lessons. Thanks to the generous heart of my first dance teacher for seeing something in me, that spark and ability to learn quickly- my life direction was somehow put in place like a perfect puzzle piece and synced with a life purpose at a very early age. Because of my love for movement, for discipline, and music and bringing it all to life as an expression through my body, dance became like food for a starving soul.
The way dance felt in my heart, the way dancing made me feel in my body, to stretch beyond my ideas of what I was able to do, and push past the pains and aches to grow. To work towards something positive was a perfect metaphor for life. It helped me develop my ability to go from awkward un-sure little girl to grace and confidence in myself. And no matter how much bullying or mean kid experiences I may have had to face, I always had dance to light my way and help me keep my head high.
Dance became my heart and soul, my best friend and something that kept me out of trouble in my teenage years :).
It was a thing I would wait all week to experience again and again- awaiting anxiously to see my teacher and fellow students. To see if my technique had improved in one weeks time, what new routine would we be learning, and hopefully become better at the choreography and craft.
My mother could not deny the sparkle in my eyes when I would tell her stories about class that week, and what songs we were dancing to, or how hard or easy the steps were for me.
My parents encouraged me to dance, and even put up with the noise when I would put on my tap shoes and tap all day and night at the house next door that was under construction with the perfect wood flooring to tear up. Dancing away on a perfect flat wood floor just me and my taps, dancing to the sounds of the ocean crashing. Life was perfect at the wood skeleton of a house that over looked the beautiful ocean skyline. I would dance until the orange sun rays disappeared behind the ocean floor.
My heart was full and all reality of time and space completely disappeared for me when I danced.
Dance was my soul and the love of my life. I became dance- and dance became me! How blessed I felt that I was able to utilize my dance into my later career as a performer and to this day I call upon my choreography experience to produce dance shows for my companies.
Today I hire professional dancers and choreographers for many events, corporate parties, Gatsby theme parties, private parties. I LOVE that just like my 1st dance teacher Pauline, I too can help ignite a dream for other dancers. With my talent agency, I can watch dancers live their dream and fulfill a hope to share their beautiful gifts with the world.
What moves me most now days, is to see my daughter with that same sparkle in her eyes when she is in class dancing.
Dance has come full circle for me- and my hope is that the circle continues.
Dance is far more than something you do for an hour or two in a class room.
Dance is an energy within each of our bodies that should be expressed in whatever form it can. Dance is very much a passion within each of us that needs an outlet to strive and survive.
There is no such thing as "I don't know how to dance".
Each of us have our own unique dial that we can tune into and allow to release through our bodies if we just have the courage to.
So I encourage each of you to "dance like no one is watching"- your heart and soul will thank you!
If you don't believe me that dance will make you a happier, more vibrant person- check out the health benefits that are statistically proven;
improved condition of your heart and lungs
increased muscular strength, endurance and motor fitness
increased aerobic fitness
improved muscle tone and strength
stronger bones and reduced risk of osteoporosis
better coordination, agility and flexibility
improved balance and spatial awareness
increased physical confidence
improved mental functioning
improved general and psychological wellbeing
greater self-confidence and self-esteem
better social skills.
There is a style for everyone...
Ballet – mostly performed to classical music, this dance style focuses on strength, technique and flexibility.
Ballroom dancing – this involves a number of partner-dancing styles such as the waltz, swing, foxtrot, rumba and tango.
Belly dancing – originating in the Middle East, this dance style is a fun way to exercise.
Hip-hop – performed mostly to hip-hop music, this urban dance style can involve breaking, popping, locking and freestyling.
Jazz – a high-energy dance style involving kicks, leaps and turns to the beat of the music.
Pole dancing – has become increasingly popular as a form of exercise. It involves sensual dancing with a vertical pole, and requires muscle endurance, coordination, and upper- and lower-body strength.
Salsa – involving a mixture of Caribbean, Latin American and African influences, salsa is usually a partner dance and emphasises rhythms and sensuality.
Square-dancing – a type of folk dancing where four couples dance in a square pattern, moving around each other and changing partners.
Tap dancing – focuses on timing and beats. The name originates from the tapping sounds made when the small metal plates on the dancer’s shoes touch the ground
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