(This article was inspired by my good friend Christina Madueño)
I’ve been dancing for as long as I remember. My dad really pushed extracurriculars on my siblings and I, so when I first began dance, it felt more like a have to than a want to.
I would dread getting dressed for my ballet class. I hated the girly, pink tights, and dancing with a bunch of girls my age. I grew up with all brothers, so making friends who were girls has always been a challenge to me.
When I began dance, I lived in New York City, the hub of dancing. There was a studio on every block, dance intensives where every week. I never really appreciated how dance heavy the city was until I moved to California.
My move to California really changed my relationship with dance. I grew to miss the bustling city, and having my ballet studio just a short walk from my apartment. In California, I had to drive to a studio 20 minutes away. In New York, I could walk to the studio and practiced whenever I felt like it. In California, I would have to ask my parents for a ride, which they never really had time for.
I began to practice a lot in my new house. Jumping, practicing my split leaps, or using the new wood floors to try a double or triple pirouette. I spent so much time on that wood practicing my turns (ironically, they still aren’t clean to this day).
The countless hours I spent practicing just made my love for dance blossom. I felt proud of myself when I could finally do a move I had been working on for days, and all I wanted to do was learn more. Eventually, I convinced my dad to double enroll me in dance classes: ballet and pointe for ballet.
Pointe taught me the discipline I needed, not only for dance, but in life. Pointe requires patience, and for you to be in tune with your body. You can’t expect to put all your weight on the point of your toes the first day. It takes time and a lot of training in order to achieve that.
From there, I began to branch off into other types of dance. Things like modern, (which I love) to jazz (which I have difficult with, since my turns are still not the best, but I still enjoy). My love for dancing consumed me, and I could not wait to go to my dance studio and learn more.
Dance started as something I was pushed to do, into something that I thought about on a daily basis. There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t find myself doing little dance moves while I’m talking to people, practicing in my dorm room alone, or grabbing my boyfriend and forcing him to spin me around just for fun.
I’m really grateful for my father when it comes to my relationship with dance. Without him, I would have never found one of my very few passions.
My advice to people reading is to find your passion. Go out, and try new things. If I hadn’t been pushed to do that, I would have no idea where my life would be today.