Do you have something that’s just for you? A happy place, that when you visit nothing can touch you? That place, for me, is dance class.
Confession; I’m a 32 year-old woman who goes to dancing every week, who practices routines in her lounge room and still can’t sleep the night before concert. And it’s been that way since I was five.
Poor five-year-old Kristen didn’t have many friends. We’d just moved and Mum and Dad thought they’d pop me into a dance class one day a week just to see if their little red haired, freckled skinned munchkin could connect with some of the other kids.
I think they’ll forever rue the day they made this call; their credit card bills have been dominated by dance costumes ever since.
I can’t remember what steps I learnt, but I still remember the way going to class made me feel. I felt a part of something bigger than myself, one sequin if you like, that made up a diverse but fabulous tutu.
Leotards were the uniform and through the years we watched our bodies grow and change. I remember when we all started to get our period, the ballet skirts started to filter in and new questions were asked. “What is it like?”, “Does it hurt?” “Will I die?” we quizzed each other.
From then on we’d refer to that code red week as the week our “painters were in”. It was nice to not be alone. Also nice to know you wouldn’t die.
Almost three decades later (didn’t doing that math make me feel old), I am the teacher of those classes. Just once a week with a local dance school, I look forward to helping those little boys and girls build something. Build confidence, build respect, and build friendships.
To be honest, seeing their little faces makes my week. I get back much more than I give.
I think it’s grounding to have something that’s just for you. A hobby, a class or an activity that just fills up your cup. Sometimes it’s hard to justify spending time on something just for you. Work or kids dominate us and sometimes “me time” gets shelved. Easier said than done, but make the time.
Find your stage and shake your booty.