Dance has and always be a huge part of my life. From hula to hip hop, these classes helped me in many ways. Some ways I would not notice until later in life when sequin costumes were a thing of the past. Being a dancer became immersed in my identity and I’ve noted how it has helped me later in life. This is how being a dancer helped me.
As with any activity, being a dancer involves following certain protocol. It started with small things like doing butterfly stretches correctly and ranged to following extensive choreography. I was a member of two very different styles of dance and neither of them left room for mistakes. Although dancing was fun, it required a tremendous amount of effort to make the moves look flawless. I apply this same restraint to everything in my life. If I want to write a decent poem or article, I know I must approach it with precision and serious intent. This is how being a dancer helped me.
In order to get better at anything, you must practice. As a child there were days I didn’t want to go to practice but I had seen what happened when other members missed a day. They would fall behind during numbers and as a group we had to spend a lot of extra time catching them up. We would be exhausted and not learn many new moves because someone decided to skip a day. I did not want to be responsible for my group having to do extra work when they showed up on time to every practice. Being a dancer helped me realize that practice makes perfect and to be aware of those practicing alongside you. This is how being a dancer helped me.
At the end of each season or quarter in hip hop, we would have a recital. Multiple age groups would come together for one show while family and friends watched in the audience. As my parents can attest to, there were so many other steps leading up to this one recital. From making costumes to extra weekend practices between homework breaks, it took months of voluntary time to make the show a success. This has helped me in my professional life especially when it comes to projects at work. If you want to have a successful literary event, it requires a lot of extra hands and intricate planning. This is how being a dancer helped me.
4. Building Connections
I grew up an extremely shy child so opening to other people was not something I was particularly good at. My parents knew I liked dancing around by myself, so they signed me up for hula to make friends. This one area we had in common allowed me to build friendships with people from different schools, even different cities. Eventually we would find other similar interests, but dance is what held us together. Even today I bring up the fact that I took dance classes to find a commonality when meeting new people and most of the time it helps! This is how being a dancer helped me.
As a dancer you spend hours practicing routines to make everything look perfect. However, dancing in your regular studio is completely different from dancing under hot lights on a stage. There is no guarantee that hiccups won’t occur whether it’s forgetting a step or having your timing be slightly off. Through my years dancing I learned to expect small issues and this has helped me to not be thrown completely thrown off when unplanned instances occur.
Although I did not take classes in every type of dance, I was aware of all the options available. We had recitals with jazz, tap, contemporary, and ballet dancers to name a few. With so many types of dance available, it helped me realize that there is always another option out there. If you aren’t great at hip hop, you can try something else! Since I was not limited in those areas, I am able to find alternatives in life whenever something doesn’t quite register with me.
Some dance groups are composed based on age while others are based on skill level. I have been in both types of groups which both taught me different things. When you move up, the dances become more difficult and you have more options to compete. With more difficulty comes even stiffer competition and you either rise to the occasion or you flop. If I were to only tap into my dance skills as a five-year-old, I would not have made it on the middle school level. It forced me to expand my dance knowledge to thrive at different levels and this has been valuable in my life in general. This is how being a dancer helped me.
Being a dancer taught me so many significant lessons that I have carried through my life. I have applied them in different areas, but I think one of the most valuable lessons is that I got rhythm! Parties and weddings have always been fun because I get to dance. I get to show off what I learned as a child or even break out some routines to make my family members laugh. I may not always be the life of the party but at least I can always catch the groove!