I vaguely remember my first steps into the dance realm. It was a local ballet studio, in a country where arts were mostly invisible because everybody was too busy to survive. I was 3 years old.
Ballet was part of my life until the day I forgot to enter the stage, during the end of the year ballet school’s show. After my mother’s annoyance faded away, I found the courage to admit that I didn’t find ballet that interesting anymore (I was an extremely shy child). The music didn’t speak to me and the repetitive training, so much needed in ballet…suddenly became a burden for me. I was 6 years old.
It was then that I was introduced to Ballroom and Latin, following a family friend, mainly out of curiosity.
It quickly took over my life, it was dance and school and that was about it, nothing else fit in the schedule. I passed through all the stages from hobby to achieving competitional level and even more. When it starts as a hobby but becomes more with time, of course it comes with sacrifices. It was tough sometimes… sustaining 2-3 hours of training every day after school and 12 hours a day of training during weekends. Adding a partner that you are not on the same page with, all this training can wear you off. I had a few moments I wanted to just quit, and in end it happened, when I headed out to university. In my home country, you couldn’t make a living out of dance and arts in particular…my parents said.
After a short deserved period of pause, I became more and more conscious of the hole left in my soul and tried everything to fill it in. I don’t regret that period, it was then that I discovered I can play drums, I felt in love with mountaineering and polished my jewellery making skills…but still, the hole was there and nothing seemed to help closing it. My heart bled every time somebody will just bring dance into conversation, that much it hurt! So, when I have received an invitation from my former partner to train children in our home town, I took it. Teaching was to be one very special magic experience. Nothing can compare with the emotions these little beings can arise within you, and the love they care capable of. I felt alive again, I found my place, I found peace again. I still wanted to dance for myself but finding a partner at that age, 27, was harder than I expected. Just as I came to the decision that I definitely need to dance again…disaster struck.
I will tell you more about this next time.
My self-discover or better said self-affirmation journey was long and full of pain. People around me, people you love, were not prepare to accept that I will give it all up for dance or any other activity that sounds more as a hobby than as a job…not in this society I was brought up into.
I was brought up in this country/society that takes over your life and doesn’t leave you much of a choice. You have to first think of surviving and there is also the “other’s acceptance” problem too. Between the two of them the choices are scarce.
What I have learned?
Don’t give up your dreams, no matter what obstacles lay ahead! You will not be completely happy and at peace if you just become this false manufactured version of yourself that pleases those around you (whoever they are: family, friends, society, community).
Somewhere out there…there is a place for you, where you will not be judged or constraint to change and accept other values than the ones you believe in! I promise!
All it takes is to start having the courage to speak out, more and more and accept who you are. Tough if not all of your actual friends will accept the new you (your true self). Nothing is worth a life full of regrets, bitterness and lies.
I hope this brief story will help some of you to avoid the struggle and quickly find your path in life!
Photos: 2015 Blackpool festival
Photo credits: Me.