I haven’t taken dance classes for almost two years now and it’s been pretty weird.
And one of my many New Year’s resolutions this year (which include being veggie and wearing more lipstick) is to get back into the dance studio.
Now depending on how much you’ve read my blog, you may or may not know that I studied dance at university and have a BA Hons in Dance.
So why haven’t I been dancing and why has it taken me SO long to pluck up the courage to get back into a dance studio again? Especially when London is FULL of dance studios!
This is a complicated question believe it or not, so let me try and answer it as best I can.
Since I was three years old I have danced. My mum took me up the road to the local dance school as soon as I was old enough for classes. Apparently I refused to do it until she bought me the same outfit as the rest of the class (unsurprising), but eventually I loved it and it took over my life.
As I got older it got more ‘serious’. One night a week after school turned into four nights a week, which turned into weekend rehearsals and extra classes.
Then I added GCSE dance on top of this, which meant lunch breaks turned into extra practice. It’s safe to say it ruled my life and when the time came to choose where I wanted to be at age 18 there was no question that I would be anywhere other than on a full time dance course.
I headed to the University of Chichester for a BA Hons degree in Dance in 2011 and I had the time of my life doing what I loved every single day, something I definitely took for granted at the time. When I graduated, I followed the practical dance route as best as I could but I eventually happily fell into dance marketing which in turn, led me to journalism and that is where I am today.
I love my job, in fact it’s pretty much my dream job right now, but it took me a while to get over the loss of dancing everyday when I left university.
It took me a couple of years to accept the fact that I had made the choice to not have dance as a part of my life full time and it was really hard despite not regretting my choices.
Even though I couldn’t have got to where I am today without studying dance (read this blog post for more about that) I still felt the guilt that i’d turned my back on something I loved and managed to convince myself that if I wasn’t going to have dance as a career then I couldn’t have it at all.
But on the 1st January this year I woke up and I think i’d truly had enough of missing something that could be introduced back into my life so simply, but only I could do it.
Two years ago I got a phone call while at a Yoga for dancers class at Greenwich Dance with the news that I had bagged my first full time job. It was an exciting day, but looking back, I now know that was the day I said goodbye to dance even if I didn’t see it that way at the time.
For the past two years I have been to perhaps a handful of classes, but other than my wonderful Saturday job teaching baby ballet, I haven’t set foot in a dance studio for my own enjoyment since that day.
But this week i’m starting a course of Contemporary Dance classes I have signed up for back at Greenwich Dance – wish me luck.
I’ve come full circle since January 2015. I have a fantastic job, I feel like a different person to that 21 year old embarking on her career and I even live in Greenwich now.
But most importantly, I have FINALLY accepted the fact that I am allowed to enjoy dance in my life without it being my career and that it doesn’t have to be all or nothing.
I’m excited to get back into a studio, push my body and leave feeling happy. I’m excited that the next time I head to see a dance performance Sadler’s Wells I will leave not feeling sad that its not part of my life anymore and craving a dance class.
But more than that, I’m fully prepared to go along to this class and know I will probably be crap. But doesn’t matter if I cant touch my toes and I can’t remember routines because I’m excited about it.
I have decided to do more of what makes me happy, and dance always has and always will make me happy.