As a dance instructor, I have had the pleasure of working with a variety of different people, in several walks of life. Each person that I have touched through dance has had a very unique experience. Some have found it to be a therapy, others a great fitness tool, and then there are those who found dance to fulfill a lifelong dream. But everyone that has continually come back to dance has found that it is healing. Somehow, when moving across the floor, they discover something that was missing inside of themselves.
Let me take a minute and bring you back to the first few years I started focusing on teaching social dancing. I saw a variety of people come through the studio doors. There were the happily married couples, the unhappily married couples, the divorcees, the hardworking singles, the widowers, and so on and so forth. Not one individual was alike. Each person came in looking for something. They found that dancing could take them away from their troubles, hurts, pains, or lift their spirits and encourage them to take risks. It wasn’t just about going through the motions of ballroom dancing, it was about finding something deep down inside that was dying to come out.
Overtime, I saw women putting on makeup and dresses, who had been stuck in a depressed state. I watched unhappy couples work through how to communicate and appreciate each other again. Single men and women started gaining their confidence to go out and perform, even when they would have rather stayed out of the spotlight. Each individual would thrive in the knowledge that they knew that they could do something beautiful and fulfill that spot in their lives that was missing, broken, or undiscovered.
Several years later, I wanted to find those people that needed something in their lives that could heal and fulfill. So, I started my dance business, Poetic Motion. I purposely looked for the people that were unique and wanted something specially catered to them. I focused on creating a therapeutic environment that was warm and welcoming. Every time I taught a group class or private lesson, I looked for ways to grow the dancers not only in their dancing, but also in their lives. I purposely focused on learning about them as people and catered to their strengths. If I was working with an accountant, I would structure the dances and show them steps to the dance, explaining the importance of technique and artistry. The lessons were a challenge to them as dancers, but also worked on growing in their personal weaknesses. Those who were deep feelers and artistically inclined would start to understand the importance of structure. Analytically inclined individuals would start to see why artistry and beauty are vital to making their dancing captivating. No one was alike, but that was what I loved and still love today.
To this day, I do not call any of the lovely individuals that take lessons clients, I call them my dance family members. I feel that we are all a part of a big family of people that found something through dance. People come and go, but the core of who we are as a dance community is a wonderful group of talented individuals that found healing through dance. We may all have different levels of experience and expertise, but we always come back to dance as our main connection point. We know each other as equals in a world of inequality. Truly, nothing else can replace the healing of dance.