Are you on a break from dance?

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We were on a break!

From dance, that is. Have you ever wondered if you had stopped dancing for good? Maybe you’re just on a break.

I took two breaks from dance in my formative years.

The first, aged 13, I went for two years without dance. I had just started highschool, I had a niggling ankle injury and my family was a little tight on finances. I don’t remember missing dance until, at age 15, our Phys Ed class started a unit of what they called “dance” and all those childhood memories came flooding back and I desperately wanted to experience real dancing again.

So back to the studio I went. I returned to ballet and jazz and after a short struggle was dancing better than I had when I left. To this day I truly believe I would not have done so well in high school had I not had that few hours of dance to attend every week. It was the place where I could let all my problems melt away. I felt closer to my dance friends than to my school friends. And the time spent at dance made me schedule my studies carefully to make sure I covered everything (There may have been some procrastination around making sure my schedule was the prettiest, most organised it could be – it was the 90s, no digital calendars, just paper, ruler, pen, and highlighters – let’s be honest, it had to be a masterpiece to work.)

For my personal journey, I returned to solo competitions because I loved to perform, I returned to ballet exams, and I also took leadership roles at school in what was then called the Rock Eisteddfod Challenge – now the State School Spectacular. Some of my dance friends just did their class and our annual concert. We all loved it no matter how much we did.
My dance habit drove me across the academic finish line and off to university.

Then life happened and I took another break.

Like many 18year olds, I thought my dance training had ended with school. I moved out of home (incidentally, with my best friend from dance, we’re still besties to this day) and went off to my first degree. Not knowing what career I wanted I simply chose to keep studying the subject I had excelled at most in school: Human Biology. I was doing just fine but with so much change in my life I became intensely depressed. (More on that some other time.)

By my third and final year of study, I had figured out that I needed to go back to ballet classes so I began the hunt in a new city for a school that would take ‘older students’. Returning to dance classes, even at age 20 was like returning to a home I never knew I’d left. Sure I was the oldest in the class, sure there were younger kids that were better than me (but not for long) but the joy of moving to music in that familiar way was stronger than any misgivings I had.

The rest is a colourful history that led through a dance career to where I am now directing BDC, but even if I hadn’t gone down this professional path, I’d still be attending adult ballet classes to this day. It’s my happy place…. And I think gyms are boring.

The moral of the story, it’s never too late to get back to dance, regardless of what age and stage of life you’re at.

Do you know someone who could just be on a break? Share this story with them and maybe we can help reunite them.

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