There’s nothing better to me than being back in a dance studio. It might not be the studio I grew up in or even one I’m a regular at, but it always feels like I’ve returned home in a way. There’s something about it that just instantly relaxes me and makes me feel like I’m where I’m meant to be. Several years ago, I thought I would never again be able to do the one thing that brings me the most joy in life. I thought I would be resigned to sitting in the audience for the rest of my life and, as much as I enjoyed knowing I could still appreciate the art form, I knew that it would tear me apart to no longer be a part of dance in the way I have for more than two-thirds of my lifespan.
It brings me such joy now to know I didn’t have to give it up completely. It’s not often that I get to be in a studio and my body is by no means in the same shape to dance as it used to be, but I’ll take what I can get because the few moments that happen every now and then bring me such peace. In the studio, at the barre or in the center of the floor, that’s where I get to be myself. It’s where nothing else in the world matters except for the music and my movements at that moment. It’s where over two decades of hard work still, in fleeting moments, shine through and I get to see a glimmer of myself again. I know that there will be a day when I’ll lose the battle and the Fibromyalgia takes over, but until that day comes I’m not giving up who I always have been and continue to be deep down.
I’m proud of all the hours I spent working on perfecting my technique over the years. Not a day goes by when I have ever regretted all the things I gave up doing or missed out on because I had class or rehearsal. Dance was my life and I wouldn’t have changed that for anything in the world. It made me who I am today. It taught me to have the determination to push through pain, to never give up no matter how hard things might seem and that practice really does make perfect.
On a whim several months ago I bought a Living Social deal for adult dance classes at a place I drive by on the way to yoga all the time. This location happens to have a large studio downstairs constructed in such a way that two walls are windows right out to the street. Many a day I’ve sat at the stoplight watching dancers at the barre and wished it to be me. When I stumbled across the deal for that exact location I couldn’t help but whip it up. For months it has sat unused due to my work schedule, but on Tuesday I finally waltzed into the studio and enjoyed a class.
It seems as if it’s been forever since I found myself in someone else’s ballet class. It felt so natural to be back in my element. Things obviously aren’t the same as the last time, but it almost felt like a small accomplishment to know I’ve still got it. That part of me is still alive an well. An hour at the barre and I found myself on cloud nine for the rest of the evening. Can’t wait until I go back on Saturday. I’ve got three more classes to take before the deal expires and they can’t come soon enough! There’s nothing better than being back in my element.