Why oh why . . .

We are often asked why we dance. I could ask you why you breath, walk, swallow. For dancers, it is just a natural part of life. I do it because it completes me.

Why we get into dance is often a better inquiry or at least makes for a more interesting story. I wanted to step into a different social network. Where I started, it was the biggest activity club available so it seemed like a good place to make new friends in this new life that I newly stepped into. I enjoyed watching dancing when it was incorporated into movies, in specials on CBC, and in live productions. It made me dream of the freedom I witnessed in the dancers before me. In the club I joined, the first class I took had me hooked. There was this feeling in my body that was unlike anything I had experienced before. I was high for the whole evening following and barely sleep that night. My brain kept going through the motions and my body kept feeling that sense of exhilaration. Every class, this pattern of unrest continued.

From there, it just took off. The more I studied, the more I wanted to know. The more people I met who shared this common interest, the more I had a sense of belonging. A sense I had not had in the past. In my past, I had not experienced much stability. Not with my parents, not with my living situation, not with my goals. I had always felt like I was tiptoeing above the earth, but never putting down roots. Being part of this group of dancers that really were addicted to this activity, I had a social group I could go out with during the week and weekend and have a blast. I still have no other outlet in my life that could replace that.

I have heard that dancers are born. I do believe this. Many a kid has been dragged kicking and screaming to a class and never liked a moment of it. Others have danced around their life for as long as they could walk and never had a formal dance class. Then there are the adults like me who discovered dance past when most do and fall head over heels in love with it. It eventually becomes that they can’t imagine a day without at least thinking about dance. Adults who find dance get a choice in the matter. They didn’t start because a parent forced them. They started because they made a choice and now they have a fuller life because of it. How lucky are we to dance?

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