Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Dance Appreciation Week: International Dance Day + What Dance Means to Me

Hey everyone! Happy International Dance Day!!! I'm sure many of you don't dance, so this day won't mean much to you. But to me, International Dance Day is a wonderful celebration of an art form, sport, and hobby that I love so much. So to all the dancers and dance enthusiasts out there, Happy International Dance Day! In celebration, I've planned what I'm calling Dance Appreciation Week. Every day this week, I'll have posts and guest posts centered around dance in some way. I'll try to be encompassing of all forms and types of dance, but if I leave something out, know that I mean it to include all forms of dance. If you're not interested, that's fine! I have a few other posts that are meant to go up, but feel free to just come back after this week is over. :)

What Dance Means to Me
I talk about dance a LOT. To the point where anybody not interested is probably annoyed when I mention it on Twitter. I absolutely love dance, and I love dancing. I have been dancing for a long time--for most of my life, actually. Dance has become a huge part of who I am, and there will never a time in my life where I would ever forget about what it's like to be a dancer, even if I ever have to stop dancing.

Dance is so much more than just a form of exercise. Don't get me wrong, it is definitely a form of exercise. In many ways, I find it to be more intense than when I ran Cross Country but in a different sense of the word. We don't do laps or hills or loops or whatever. But we work our asses off, trying to perfect everything we do and trying to make everything seem simple.

Dance is about expression. It's about going beyond the words that exist. Oftentimes, there's just no way for me to say all I want to say with words--and that's coming from a writer! Dance allows me to express myself in a different form. I've always thought that dance was more about emotion and feeling than pure talent. You can only be so great if you don't feel what you're dancing.

For me, dance is an outlet. If I feel stressed or am feeling horrible, I know I'll always have dance. There's something comforting about knowing that you can almost always dance. There's something comforting about knowing that after so many years, the steps will remain the same and that they've become a part of you. There's even something comforting about trying to achieve a perfection that can't be reached. Just like Hogwarts will always be there to welcome me home, I think that dance will too.

Being a dancer and being a part of the dance community at my dance studio has been so rewarding in so many ways as well. I've made so many friends, friends that get you in the way that only fellow dancers can get you. I can't really explain it. You would understand if you've been there. My dance studio is really like a small family, and I love that about it. I know that I'll always have a place at the studio, and it's so nice to know that someone knows my face and has watched me grow as a dancer. It's, for the most part, such an amazing support system, and I love that I've grown up in this studio. I've gone from the one that looks up to all the older dancers to being one of those older dancers. There's something fulfilling about that.

But in the end, there's so much that dance means to me that I can't express in words and that I can't ever fully list out or discuss. There's just something about dance and being a dancer, and I think that most dancers that truly love dance would understand. Dance means the world to me, really. If I could answer the question, What does dance mean to you? in one word, I would choose, everything. Because really, it does. Dance means the world to me. It's about the community, the experiences, the laughter, the hardships, the intensity, the feeling you get when you actually do a triple pirouette, the feeling of being onstage, the stress of a quick change, the adrenaline rush you get backstage and onstage, the emotions, the beauty, the suffering, the dedication, the hard work, the dependability, and just the utter love that I have for dance, dancers, and almost everything dance stands for because it's about learning to find yourself; it's about learning to collaborate; it's about finding your voice, your passion, your muse, your "center." It's about something more than words. And I love almost every bit of it.


  1. My one word to describe dance is triumph. (a significant success or noteworthy achievement) My years of dance have been rolled up into one magical moment, and that was my finale dance. My final dance recital, final solo, the music ends and I am triumphant. I can still feel that moment, still hear the applause, attempting to search through the blinding lights and look into faces in the crowd...I'll never forget that feeling. I really enjoyed reading your thoughts on dance and I can relate and agree with all of them!

    1. That's a great one, Sonia! I think there's so much about dance that you can't fully encompass it in one word. I think perhaps "everything" would be my quick, go to answer, but I think I'll dwell upon it, and perhaps I'll come up with something better. :)

      But I completely agree. I think triumph would definitely fit. That sounds both captivating, and sad, and I think that that's how I'll feel next year. I don't know what I'll be dancing, what I'll be wearing, but I know that it will be bittersweet, and that I will probably have to try my hardest not to cry as I stand up on the stage with my fellow high school graduates. But I will definitely feel the triumph too. :)


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