It is in our nature to stay from that which makes us uncomfortable. Why would we knowingly put ourselves in a place that makes us vulnerable, self-conscious, and sometimes frightened? For growth, that’s why. To have physical, mental, and spiritual growth we must not only stand out on a limb, but we must be willing to accept the pain and awkwardness that it brings.
Physically, we go through growing pains. We actually feel the pain associated with growth. Mentally, we go through the self-conscious, doubt, questioning, and fear of growth. We come to realize that we not only do not know what we think we know, but that it takes time and patience to get to that place where we do know. Spiritually many people find that fear, doubt, and heartache are what lead to growth.
I believe that Friedrich Nietzche put it best when he said, “what does not kill you, shall only make you stronger”. It is during times of adversity, that we find our true strengths and we tend to find our true selves. I have also heard it put another way, ‘if life was easy, it would not be worth living’. That is a very powerful statement.
Now, how does any of that relate to dancing? All of it! Learning to dance has helped many people grow physically. I have seen students with Cerebral Palsy, Multiple Sclerosis, amputees, you name it, re-learn how to use muscles and parts of their body they have not been able to use through dance. I have seen students who have gone through emotional traumas find solace, happiness, and peace through dancing. I have seen students go through wonderful transformations, much like the butterfly, because of their time taking dance lessons.
Learning to dance is a beautiful thing. It takes you from fearful, awkward, and clumsy to laughing, moving, and hopeful in a matter of one lesson. There will be hard times, as there always is with learning something new. These are the times when you hit a learning plateau so hard that it feels like a you have run into a brick wall. Keep in mind that these will pass, much like your growing pains did as a kid. There will be times when you question why you continue to go. Keep in mind that these are the times when you need to be there the most! It is through the staff, the other students, and the constant activity that you regain your desire for dancing.
If you allow it to, learning to dance will give you the opportunity to grow in ways you cannot imagine! Whether or not you have a partner, you will gain a family. Whether or not you already know how to dance, you will find confidence in yourself. Whether or not you are younger or older, you will find a place to belong!
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