Written during the pandemic (when we danced in spite of it)
Despite the pandemic, there were twelve of us in our adult dance class of The Dancer’s Workout® tonight. This included Sara, Cagny, Shannon, Tyler, Laura, Jennifer, Anne, and Meg who were there with me in-person, plus Deidre, Dani, Ashley, and Sonoe, who were logged in and dancing with us via Zoom.
We were twelve women, between the ages of 24 and 60, united in time and space and deeply connected by our love of dance.
While we have literally hundreds of adult dancers who have joined our classes on a regular basis over the past decade, the snapshot of tonight’s class is a good sample of a typical class.
Sara, Anne, Ashley, and Sonoe have danced with me multiple times a week now for six to eight years.
Cagny, Shannon, Jennifer, and Dani have danced with us multiple times a week for four to five years now.
Deirdre, Laura and Tyler are newer, having only danced with us for a year or so, and Meg is brand new — tonight was her second class with us.
Why in the world do we women, with our varied backgrounds, come together to dance, day-after-day, week-after-week, month-after-month, and year-after-year?
We have varied backgrounds, indeed! One of us is an HR professional. One is a nanny. One is a school teacher. One is an Office Manager. One is a Clinical Research Associate. One is a Project Manager. One is a culinary school graduate. One is a librarian. One is an astrology enthusiast. One is a research and development expert. One is a forensic laboratory analyst. I am a former pharmaceutical executive (who trained in ballet as a child and teenager) who’s now a full-time dance teacher. We are the best of friends.
At the end of class Meg, the new girl, sees a bunch of us sitting down on the floor and inquires, “Are you guys going to dance more? I see you stretching.” “Oh no!” I say, “We always hang out together after class and chit-chat. Want to stay?”
In 5 seconds flat, Meg pushes her packed-up dance bag off her shoulder and sits down to join our friendly circle.
At some point during the lively conversation, we learn that Meg went to culinary school — a discovery that is immediately met with a collective “whoa” by pretty much each of the rest of us who, admittedly, have zero cooking skills.
“It’s exciting to find someone who likes to cook because we love to have parties!” we explain… “I love to cook,” she squeals!
Nearly an hour later, after lots of chit-chat about our “Fosse Fridays” (where we get together to watch Bob Fosse movies), Grace and Frankie (evidently a cute show I have completely missed), childhood moves (Sara’s middle school and high school years were split between Florida and Bolivia of all places), our next party (we marked our calendars!) and other interesting tid-bits, Meg says something that really sticks with me…
Her comment follows our general inquiries (How did you find us? How long have you lived in the area? How long has it been since you’ve danced? You’re such an amazing dancer, haven’t you missed it? etc.). She says, in a moment of perfect vulnerability…
“I really wanted to start dancing again so I could find some friends.”
It was almost shocking to hear such honesty. But being the kind of people we are (we’d never leave someone hanging), we immediately jumped in there with, “Well you have come to right place!” “We’re glad you found us!” “Awww, well, welcome to the group!”
Driving home after class it strikes me how with twelve women in the room, there must be twelve different reasons WHY WE DANCE. Meg had highlighted a big one. I try to articulate my own reasons for dancing and realize I have not one reason, but many of them! And I imagine others do too!
All of this made me think of you. If YOU were sitting in our community circle, how would you answer the question WHY WE DANCE? What is it that matters most to you?
Or think about it another way… If you are not currently dancing, what aspect of it do you miss the most?
[ ] My dancer’s body
[ ] Having a community of friends
[ ] Flexibility and Cardio Fitness
[ ] Stress Management
[ ] General feeling of youthfulness
[ ] Other __________________________________________
I want to be sure you know there are all sorts of ways to connect and get you dancing with us. You are invited to check out the various options and links below.
Let us help take you back to the essence of WHY YOU LOVED TO DANCE and help make that happen for you now, as an adult.
We’d like to personally welcome you to our adult dance community.
Jules Szabo, founder of The Dancer’s Workout® (TDW) is a classically trained ballerina from the UNC School of the Arts and former corporate executive who helps busy working women, mothers, and empty nesters rediscover their love of dance. She specializes in the paraprofessional dancer (adult ballet, jazz, and contemporary dancers who are not beginners and not professionals, who simply love dance over other forms of exercise). Featured in Dance Magazine as one of the best dance programs online, The Dancer’s Workout® classes were designed to provide former dancers an emotionally and physically safe path back to dance and to help current adult dancers and dance instructors achieve their daily fitness goals through dance. If you are a current or former dancer, you are invited to come dance with us.
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