Dance has always been who I am ...
This year is my eleventh year of dancing, and my ninth year on the competitive team at my studio. I used to be the little kid looking up in wonder at the older dancers at my studio, and I am now the older dancer at the studio that has been through it, and is excited to watch another generation of dancers do the same. Throughout that journey, I have learned how important dance is to me, as well as how beneficial it can be. Dance is packed with so many health benefits, both physical and mental. It is a large influencer in a dancer’s social life. Dance helps a student develop so many important skills and habits, and overall it breeds creativity.
Speaking of dopamine and endorphins, dance is also good for one’s mental health. Those chemicals are what I call the “happy chemicals”, and they help to reduce depression and anxiety (Elite Dance Studio, 2019).
When I was younger, I wrote, “Dance is the key to my happiness. It is a way for me to express myself without talking, to tell a story without words”. I still hold the same feelings today. Dance is such a good and healthy outlet for a dancer’s emotions. No matter how you’re feeling, the expressiveness of dance allows you to channel whatever energy you have into the movement. This specific point has been quite helpful for me during these emotional teen years, especially with the frustration of the recent lockdowns.
Whenever stress is really getting to me, I can always count on using dance class to let go of that stress, or even just as a distraction from everyday problems. Even when I don’t have class, I can find an open space and just improvise to express whatever I am feeling in that moment. In a way, my dancing and my emotions live in a reciprocal relationship. My emotions fuel my art, and my art controls my emotions. -- I dance because when I do, I show a little bit of my soul and my true self.
Dance is sometimes frustrating or stressful, for instance, if I am having trouble getting a trick or learning something new -- but nothing can replace the satisfaction I get when my hard work pays off and I finally accomplish my goals.
Lastly, one of my favourite parts of dancing, is how it breeds creativity in each person. Dance has surrounded me with so many very creative people who are there to mentor me, to inspire me, and to influence me. Dance is my creative outlet, as it has allowed me to find my own voice and my own style. This is the truly amazing part about my journey: I learned the vocabulary in my younger years so now I can explore and write myself a story! This is my art that I get to create through music and movement, and I am so grateful!