Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Dance is Free Expression

This year I took a beginning dance class for gym. I expected an easy "a" and maybe a little fun along the way. Also, it was the only class I could take because I can't run on my bad ankles. But as the semester nears and end and my days as a beginning dancer do also, I've started to notice some things about my dance class.

First, dance requires confidence. I knew no one in my class, so I rarely spoke the first week or so, and the class was no fun at all, which means I didn't care enough to excell in it. But as the weeks wore on, I opened up to the other girls and let the real me shine through. I'm not a shy person, but dance class for some reason made me as such. So soon I realized I had to shed that shy outer layer and just be the open, bold geek that I am. And soon I grew in that in a way I didn't in other classes. I actually became bolder, I was no longer afraid of what might happen. "Will I look stupid doing this?" "What will happen if I say this?" "What if I mess up and fall flat on my face?" All those questions were now gone from my mind. And you know what? I did look stupid some times, but I had fun doing it and I was able to laugh at myself. I did say some things I shouldn't have, but also some things that I wouldn't have before that people thought were really smart. And yes, I did fall down a few times, but I laughed, got right up again, and continued dancing. So, dance made me more confident in all the things I do, and that confidence also made me a better dancer.

Second, be friendly. First time I walked into that class I looked at everyone I didn't know, and at those I knew but never became close with and just shut my mouth. After the confidence kicked in, I became much more friendly with the other girls. So what if I didn't know them? If I didn't say anything, I would never get to know them. Soon I had a new best friend, Risty. She's pretty shy, but I got to know her and we had a lot in common. Now thanks to that class, I now have another anime/manga dork to laugh with, and I have a friend in the class.

Third, dance requires an open mind. In this class I've had to do all sorts of different styles of dance, had to listen to different types of music, and had to try things I'd never done before. For a group project we had to create a dance to any music we wanted. I was out voted on the music and our group did a song by Shakira I would have never heard but for that class. And I like the beat a lot. For that same project I had to do some hip hop and some salsa, two dance styles I had never even thought of trying. And I loved that too.

And lastly, dance is free expression. Any kind of dance you do, you're putting a part of yourself into it. The hula dance tells a story. Lyrical dance shows actions behind words. Interpretive dance shows emotions through movements. Each dance has its own way of showing your personality through your actions. It is a way to express yourself to the world.

So dance like no one's watching, and let the real you come through.

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