There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t still consider myself a dancer. My fibromyalgia and injuries from the past might keep me from dancing professionally, but deep down in my heart I’ll never let go of what I know I still am. It’s in the way I stand, how I gesture, and even in the way I walk. I will always still be a dancer deep down inside. The moment I put my dance shoes back on my feet I always begin to feel like I’ve just returned home. It doesn’t take as much now to wear my body out as it used to, but nothing compares to sitting down to relax after an evening of dancing.
Around the house I am known to randomly break out into dance steps at a moments notice if there is music in the background. If there is music playing anywhere I’m at, you can bet I’m choreographing in my head. Once you’ve felt the movement deep down in your bones, there is no stopping your brain from continuing to dream up the most wondrous of visions.
I bring this up because I just stumbled upon a YouTube clip from 2011 where one of the National Ballet of Canada’s first soloists is interviewed. In A Day in the Life of a Ballerina, the young dancer so perfectly sums up why so many of us pursue this art form. It’s not because it is easier than sports, because I’ll assure you that is most certainly not true. In fact I dare to say it is just as athletic but, as the dancer points out in the interview, we are forced to smile most of the time while doing it and making it appear as if it is effortless.
As I get ready to once again strap on my dance shoes for a few choreography projects I have coming up in the coming months, I can’t help but reflect back upon how dance was a way of life for me throughout 3/4 of my life. Slowly I’ve returned to my dance roots to give my knees a secondary fitness option instead of just running. There aren’t any mirrors or ballet barres in my living room, but as all dancers know a reflective sliding glass door and the back of a chair make excellent substitutes for an evening class in the comfort of your home. Despite not gracing a stage often nowadays, I still carry with me the memories of doing so and know that I will continue to stay connected to my dancing throughout each stage of my life that I still have ahead.