Between the ages of 6 and 27 my life focused around dancing. I had other identities, sure. I was out-doorsy, loved to cook, began practicing yoga and becoming a runner in my teens, and even worked for a few years as a whitewater raft guide.
But dance was who I was as well as what I did.
When we moved to Peru in January, 2009 I had every intention to seek out dance there. And I tried. I even attended two classes and a few performances but my heart and head weren’t fully in it. EVERYTHING was so foreign to me there. I felt completely disconnected from my dancer-self, in fact I felt pretty disconnected from myself in general while living in South America but that’s a whole ‘nother story.
So I let the dancer rest.
And into deep hibernation she went.
Honestly, as much as I love Charlottesville I never would have moved here if I was an active dancer when we were looking. There are some very talented and ambitious dancers here but it’s a small town and the support and opportunities are very limited. I’ve taken a few classes, met a few movers-and-shakers, attended a few shows. What I really needed was someone to light a fire under my ass and remind me that, among other things, I am a dancer.
I grew up dancing in Trillium’s dance school and after high school was invited to teach, choreograph, and perform. While in college I returned to perform and choreograph again. Next week I will once again return to the Trillium stage to perform as a guest artist in their Spring concert.
You can read more about the show here.
The above photo is from the last time I performed, September 2008. I was a guest in the company Tere Mathern Dance and yes, we are dancing in a fountain.
The fountain is in downtown Portland and was designed by the famed landscape architect Lawrence Halprin. Halprin was married to a dancer and designed the Charlottesville Downtown Mall.
Dancing is my happy place. When I dance I feel confident, strong, comfortable in my body. And I feel nothing, it’s a moving meditation where there’s no space for thoughts, concerns, or questions. On my two+ year dancing hiatus I’ve managed to find this happy place in other activities; running, hiking, biking, yoga, but nothing fills and fulfills me the way dancing does.
I sincerely hope that you have something like this in your life. What is your happy place? Time with your spouse, children, family? Playing music? Writing?
Wishing you an extra happy Wednesday!