My last performance after 16 years at my dance studio

I am a dancer.. I don’t say that lightly.. I have been dancing for 16 years and have come to realize how important it is to my life. I plan on dancing in college and through the application process, I was often asked what does dance mean to me?  I had to stop and think, what does it really mean to me? Well, it’s a part of me, it’s my life, it’s my passion.. I can’t imagine life without dance. Then I started thinking about why it was so important to me.

It’s easy to say that doing something from the time you are 2 to the time you are 18 is a habit. But why you continue to do it, above all other activities, why you skip out on social opportunities with friends and make it the most important thing in your life, is something beyond habit. Dance became an outlet. If I had a bad day at school, I danced it out.. If I had a fight with a friend, the soothing music of a ballet class and the slow, methodical movement soothed me.. I had a great day, the upbeat rhythms of tap let me celebrate the joy of being alive.  You see, dance became a voice to emotions that were too difficult to express.. It became a balm to my soul, a place where everything was good.. Now, that’s not to say that there weren’t bad days at dance, trust me.. there were plenty.. but even then, I always came back.. The studio was where I felt most at home. Everyone needs a place like that. A place where they feel safe to express themselves. A place where they can give voice to difficult feelings and emotions. I have come to realize the importance of ALL art forms for this very reason of expression. Music, paint, dance, writing.. it all is an outlet. And it makes life sweeter..  I just performed for the last time with my studio. It was a weekend of celebration. I shed a small tear or two for what I would be leaving behind. The friends, the dances yet to be dance, but mostly, it was sheer joy. The joy of knowing that I will be continuing to dance in college. The joy of taking the stage one last time with my dance family. The joy of celebrating 16 years of dedication and discipline.  Of what is to come in the future.  I will be attending the University of Tampa and studying dance. I can not WAIT to write the  next chapter in my book.. and expand my dance family..