Life Lessons Learned Through Dance
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Life Lessons Learned Through Dance

And why you should force your kids into dance.

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Life Lessons Learned Through Dance
Madison Frilot

At the age of eight, I was dragged to a free youth ballroom class at a local studio by my enthusiastic grandma. Quite contrary to my grandma, I simply wasn’t having it. I sat cross-legged on a chair in the room, staring at the floor. I was simply miserable; I pouted the hardest I could and refused to partake in the dancing nonsense. Even though my actions obviously displayed my discontent and lack of interest, my persistent grandma didn’t give up. We went back week after week and I continued my stubborn protest.

As time went by, although my exterior remained unshakable, something shifted in my mind. As I watched the other kids in the class have a great time learning and moving in ways I never had before, I was drawn to it. I think every non-dancer has a similar sentiment watching dance; there’s something so magical yet natural and impulsive about it. To my grandma’s delight, I was pushed to my feet by my potent intrigue and before I knew it, I was up and dancing with the rest of the class.

Life Lesson One: always follow your passions impulsively.

From there, I instantly fell in love with the art. Fast forward a few months and I was performing in a show, crying backstage from the nerves as I was about to dance in front of a massive crowd for the first time.

Life Lesson Two: fortune favors the bold… and the brave.

After the ecstasy of my first performance washed over me, I couldn’t get enough. I buckled down and started taking it seriously. I attended private lessons and swapped coaches for the best training possible. While my friends were hanging out and having a good time, I was at dance. “I can’t, I have dance” became my catchphrase, but I didn’t mind because I knew that dance made me feel a type of way that nothing else could. By the ripe age of 13, I had dedicated myself to the work, I was improving rapidly and I was hooked for life.

Life Lesson Three: prioritization.

I would be lying if I said it is all a mush pot of passion and artistry because as every artist knows, at times it definitely is not. There were moments when high school became stressful due to all of the time I had to allot to dance, and other times I was just bored by it. I had more than a few opportunities to quit but I didn’t take a single one.

Life Lesson Four: finding the inner strength to stick to your own path.

Two summers of professional training with Broadway Dance Center and then Joffrey went by and although I then realized that the professional path wasn’t for me, dance would always be there. It was that time in life when I had to decide what to do for myself and deep down, I knew what was right for me.

Now I’m in college studying communications and dancing with the Boston University Dance Team, current national champions. Being on the team that practices more than any other collegiate team in the entire country, my time is limited. However, instead of hindering my studies, BUDT helps me stay productive in getting my schoolwork done during the time I do have, deterring me from procrastination.

Life Lesson Five: time management.

Possibly the most special part of dance is the gratification of a great performance--there’s truly nothing like it. What’s special about the performing arts is that a perfect performance is always inside of the performer, it’s just a matter of whether they commit completely to bringing it out or not. If there is even the slightest hesitation in prevailing through the physical pain and mental exhaustion, it just won’t feel right after. Success and self gratification is completely and entirely in the hands of the performer.

Life Lesson Six: self-gratification if only achievable if you give your absolute all.

And so maybe life is just one big performance. Dance has instilled in me this desire to be proactive and give my everything to every second in order to achieve that gratification when the curtains are finally drawn.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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