I distinctly remember the first time I realized I truly loved dance. I was 11 and in a hip hop class at my dance studio. We were dancing to “Everybody Dance Now”, an early 90’s dance classic that got most pre-pubescent girls onto the middle school dance floor with nothing but heart for a solid 4-6 months. I was lucky enough to have a young dance teacher who thought our class was worthy enough to dance to it that year. To make it even more magical, we also had to do the “Roger Rabbit” and “Running Man” in this dance and my heart was beaming. This was the moment I was going to show everyone that this shy little red head had the dance chops only challenged by Debbie Allen herself. To the surprise of everyone, except my mom, that is exactly what I did. I stood up there on recital day, smack in the front row, in my half shirt and tight black pants and nailed every move. This was the beginning. My love of dance has never gone away. Whether it was in my teens when I was strong and disciplined or at a fraternity party having a dance off, I love dance down to my toes.
When I walked into DanceFIT Studio a year ago, a feeling came back to me that I forgot I ever even had. The floors, the lights, the smell - all brought me back to times in my life I cherish and to moments that created who I am. My body on the other hand didn’t bounce back as quickly as my memory and you all almost lost me that day after 60 minutes of plies. Nonetheless something in me knew that I had found a home that was going to help me get my body back to a place it deserved to be.
The last 4 weeks have challenged me, but I have also seen a huge turn in how I feel. Hitting goals that I set for myself bring me back to that day I was 11. The feeling of being strong has brought me back to when I was a teenager and I would leap and turn with grace. The feeling of accomplishment has brought me back to a year ago, when I finished that first class with Gina when I didn’t think I could.
But most importantly, after a long day I step in the studio or in front of my computer and I am reminded that I am good at this. I may not be perfect and I will forever be working on my form, but I can do this and I can do it well. That is the personal encouragement I forgot I needed and that I forgot challenges me to keep moving forward. The inside voice that has been telling me for years you are not strong enough was given the middle finger 4 weeks ago and I have not and will not turn back.
Then there is the glorious juxtaposition of the teachers. Their beautiful smiles and encouraging voices paired with their eyes that look at you sweetly in class letting you know that if you do not get deeper in that plié, they will make you all do an extra set of 8. They give us all exactly what we need; full encouragement, but with high expectations. I didn’t have this when I danced for 18 years as kid and the mix of their love for us and their love for dance has given me the extra push I need every day.
I have been more active these last four weeks than I have in 6 years and my soul needed it. I also checked the other night and I am happy to report I can still do the Running Man, Roger Rabbit and the Carlton with the power that I did 20 years ago. Biggest accomplishment of all, obviously!
May your days be filled with jazz hands and no orange fingers,
*This blog post was submitted by our wonderful natick & virtual spokeswoman Chrissie. Check out more blog posts by Chrissie. Blog #1, Blog #2
Mom of 3, wife, business owner, ballet teacher and fitness instructor. Trying hard to raise healthy, happy and grateful children while running the studio of my dreams. Trying to stay FIT, flexible, stylish and take care of myself in the process!