Dance was always a part of my life. It was something that I started when I was three and just kept doing throughout my whole life. I tried other sports like soccer, basketball, and volleyball, but I didn't like any of them as much as I loved dancing.
When I was in fifth grade, I started doing competitive dancing. This changed my world. It was so much more challenging and demanding. Honestly, I was really bad at it for a while, and I looked like a noodle when I was on stage, but I loved it.
I loved my dance studio and all the people there. There was nowhere else I wanted to spend the majority of my time and no other people I wanted to spend it with.
I stopped dancing at a studio after tenth grade. It was becoming too much. I was spending all my time dancing, and I barely had time to do homework or spend time with friends. From then on, the only dancing I was doing was from my high school poms team. This was still super fun but dancing two hours a day in a school cafeteria wasn't the same as dancing for hours every day in a studio.
Deciding not to dance at a studio anymore was a big decision. I had to choose to stop doing something that I had done for so long — something that had made me so happy for most of my life. It got to the point where dance was more of an obligation than the passion I once had.
This break from dancing was good for me. It allowed me time to get a job, focus on homework, and spend more time with my friends.
Although not dancing anymore was, ultimately, the best decision for me, sometimes I think that I made this decision without truly thinking about it. There were times where I missed dancing a lot. I would see pictures of my old dance team at their practices and their competitions. I would get sad, and I couldn't help but thinking about how I should be there with them.
A couple of weeks ago, I was sitting at my desk reminiscing on all of my dance memories. I was watching old videos and thinking about all the fun times I had at my dance studio. I got really emotional thinking about how I haven't seriously danced in almost two years. I used to think of dance as something that I needed to survive. It was the place where I was most myself, and I could express everything that I was feeling.
Sometimes I feel a little lost, and I feel like dance might help me to find my path again. I know that there are other ways to express myself now. One that I have resorted to is writing. It has become an outlet for my thoughts and my troubles.
Even if I have regrets about not finishing out my dance years, I know that I was better off with the decision I made. I am still so grateful for everything I learned from my dance teachers, my teammates, and dance in general. They taught me not just dance, but life lessons.