How dancing saved my life...more than once

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

I'm a bunhead ;)) Most people know that. Ballet is my love. I love it more than anything in the world!

I wish I had more pictures saved on my computer. They would all be from several years ago though.

NOTE: Soooo...I guess I should have started this thing by saying that it was God who saved me THROUGH dance. He gets all the credit of course. Using my love of ballet was just His tool :))

I actually started ballet late, at least compared to those who started at age 4.  I was almost 12 when I started. And from the moment I did, I was hooked. I discovered that I was good. And I THRIVED off of being in the studio...and even when I wasn't in the studio, I would make up dances in my room. It was always a rarity that I would turn on music, and NOT visualize a dance in my mind {that still happens multiple times a day, every single day}.

Growing up, I really loved learning and I liked my teachers, but I ab-so-lute-ly hated being at school. I suffered from massive amounts of anxiety that I didn't understand. On top of that, kids were mean. Of course, I had friends that I got along with very well. But for the most part, I was completely miserable all through school. I couldn't wait to leave just so I could go to dance class. I was very involved in a lot of other things too. I did a lot of musicals, choir, and show choir, and thoroughly enjoyed them all. But none of them compared to ballet. It was where my heart was constantly, and I'm pretty sure people got completely sick of me talking about it all the time.
Dancing made my heart beat faster--not just from being out of breath, which I often was, ha!--but out of pure JOY!
Some people hated our time at the barre.  But me...from the first plie at the barre at the very beginning of class, I could breathe again. I was at home.
Nutcracker season came around every year, and people would roll their eyes saying, "Oh boy. That time of year again." Me? I was giddy over it! I could never be tired of Nutcracker!
Some people hated dancing adage {slow}...I for one loved being able to really feel the music, and use my whole body. Some people hated dancing allegro {fast}...but I just loved flying across the floor, even if the combination of steps was really really difficult. I loved everything.

Of course, it came with its challenges, especially when I started training more often, and more rigorously. It was exhausting, and very hard on my body at times. I dealt with strained muscles, aching joints, blisters on top of blisters on my feet. I had multiple meltdowns resulting from being too tired and too busy. Still, dancing got me through everything. The farther I got into high school, I became extremely unhappy and even more anxious both at school and at home...and I just didn't understand. But when my world seemed to stop, getting back into my ballet shoes made it go round again. It saved me. Without it, I would've really been in trouble.

And that was just the first time.

At 16 years old, I had surgery done on my spine for scoliosis. I know that my curve was bad, and that the operation WAS necessary, and I'm never gonna know what could have happened if I hadn't gotten idea where I'd be now. But I know where I would NOT be. I would not be taking class {for the past 5 years} and continuing training at a wonderful studio with the best teacher in the whole world! I would never have met my close friends, Lisa & Lori, and all of my other friends from that class. And I definitely would not be teaching as much as I do now. 
Now, teaching dance, and continuing to dance are the only things that keep me going. On Monday nights, I can't get to my ballet class fast enough. I still breathe better after the first plie, and feel complete and total joy, even in spite of being aching, tired, and out of shape.
AND! Every afternoon, I am more than happy to walk into the studio and have groups of children come to me for my instruction. Especially these past few days, when I've been feeling like staying in bed is all I want to do, I get up to go to my students...and I enjoy every minute of it.

That's how dance is saving me still. And again, without it, I would really be in trouble.


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