Some say age is just a number, some say you should follow your dreams. So, yes you could say I live by both those statements. Tomorrow I will be getting ready to go on stage at a dance studio recital. While most moms will be watching their daughters on stage, I will be dancing with mine. Lucky for me she is still at an age where it’s cool to have your mom with you.
I got into dancing at a later stage in life, my first dance class wasn’t until college. But ever since then I have caught the dance bug. Oddly enough, I was never in a show in college. So besides winter guard in high school I had never performed a dance on a stage until years later while attending ballet classes at a community park district while four months pregnant. After the birth of my first and then second child, I gave up dancing. After of few years of giving myself to my children, I started realized I was missing me, something that defined me and made me happy. So I started searching for another class, the only adult class I could find was a hip hop class. Hmmm, hip-hop, I never even gave it a thought before, I only took jazz or ballet. Before I knew it, I was enrolled and trying it out. At first I really didn’t like it, it was so different than the classes I took before. In ballet and jazz, your feet, arms, etc. all have specific places to be but in hip hop it’s about attitude and feeling the music fully. Luckily I had a great teacher and a fun group of girls to attend class with. After a year I was hooked, I love hip hop! I did this studio for a few years and then we moved…and I was without classes for a bit, again. I could never get into cross fit or working out machine wise, so in more ways than one I was missing dance class. After lots and lots of searching, I stumbled up a new studio called Street of Dreams, and they had an adult class! So I signed up, and it was going great until the class dwindled to just me. There would be a 6-10 students at the beginning of the year and then it would fizzle out. I’m not sure why the class never took off, the studio and teachers are awesome. Everyone who attended said they had fun. So I did something brave and joined the ‘older kid’ class. So here I am in my 40’s and taking classes with 14-18-year-olds. The upside, they were challenging classes, and, of course, the downside, I felt really old and out of place sometimes. Particularly when they are talking about who broke up with who and prom happenings. But when that music turns on, and we are going through the routine it feels timeless. All that matters is the beat and slamming that routine.
My husband often asks me why am I bothering? Well, I just have to say that “I have to dance!” It’s just something in my blood, it’s a way to forget about the world and just feel in the moment. It’s a way to push yourself to limits you never knew you had. Heck this year I am doing a coffee grinder on stage. And of course, the big bonus is getting a workout without feeling like it’s a workout. I have noticed a big difference in my EoE symptoms when I work out, so exercise not only helps my figure but really helps my overall health.
So to all you other mom’s that have that dance bug…don’t give it up just because you think you are too old. Live it, believe it, dream it. I am lucky enough to find an awesome studio. As many dance studio owners are, the owner herself is a dancer, but what makes this studio stand out is her philosophy. She knows there is more to just winning trophies, that dance is about knowing yourself, believing in yourself and having the confidence to go out there and show the world your passion. I’m so glad that my daughter is at a studio that is more about self-development rather than win, win win.
Recently this video has been going around the web. It’s a woman who is 60 that kills a hip-hop routine. I’m really hoping I will still be doing this at 60… and beyond. Go Shirley!
So yes tomorrow I am going on stage with boys and girls who are a third of my age, but I don’t care! I will be going out there to show myself I have discipline, courage, and well that I just can still do it! I have always dreamed of being on stage as a back-up dancer to Usher or the Backstreet Boys but I guess for now I will just shine for all the moms, dads and grandparents. Who knows maybe I will inspire a few moms to join me next year 🙂