…What if?

I’m starting to think that I actually had my dream calling figured out when I was 26.

In the span of a year, I had discovered ecstatic dance and taken a Reiki Healing Dance™ course and a Kripalu DansKinetics® teacher training course. I was 100% grounded in this new, free, intuitive, healing dance modality. I felt powerful and free. And then my old teacher (yes, that old teacher) asked me to teach modern dance to her senior students.

…in hindsight, it’s probably a good thing that she never officially paid me for my time, because I certainly didn’t teach what she was expecting.

Of the three students I taught, two were girls I’d known when I was one of the senior girls and they were just six and eight years old. I knew what they were experiencing in their ballet classes—the endless grind of repetitive exercises, the screaming and snapping, the feelings of helplessness, the barely-contained rage.

I knew because I had lived it.

…I needed someone like me SO badly…

 

And I set out to give them what I would have wanted when I was in their shoes: I made it my mission to remind them why they loved to dance. And that there was more to dancing than what they were used to.

I did teach some modern technique, I suppose. And I used elements of the trainings I’d just taken, a bit. But mostly, I just set the stage and let them do the rest. I allowed the classes to be whatever the girls needed. Together, we lay on the floor and envisioned glowing bubbles of safety and love. We followed the breath into beautiful dances. We grounded and oozed. We pushed and pulled. We played games. We followed music into beautiful unknown spaces.

Occasionally I would catch my old teacher’s disapproving glares through the windows as we danced. But it didn’t matter. The girls were lost in the dance. They were glowing and grinning. They were safe. It. Was. Glorious.

Later, the girls were split up, and I taught one of them one-on-one. I’d known her since she was little, and our classes (if you can call them that) quickly morphed into something else entirely. We would sit and chat about whatever happened to be going on with her at the time, sometimes for half the class time. I would give her any insight I could. And then we would open up to the dance. We danced shapes, textures, elements and emotions. We went outside and found beautiful things to portray through movement. We played with oracle cards and energy work. We made our dance into a healing thing, a tool for transformation, a safe means of expression.

I still look back on that time as a major highlight of my 20s. I was in my element. I was connected. I was making a difference. I believed so passionately in my power to help that it brought tears to my eyes. And I saw the effects of my work every time the girls walked into my class.

Ever since then, I’ve been longing to get back to that place of service, of magic, of belief. But I told myself it was impossible. That I only managed it then because of my history with the girls and our shared rebellion. That I had to find a new, “more realistic” dream, fit inside a box, get the Certifications®  and the Trainings™ and follow the Rules©.

But now I’m starting to wonder…What if?

What if I could build upon those foundations and create something unique, personal, and deeply healing? What if it could really help people? And not just downtrodden ballet-dancers-in-training, but anyone—trained or not—who felt called to dance?

What if I had it figured out way back then, and all I needed was the confidence to translate it beyond the walls of that studio?

What if? What if?

Even entertaining the possibility and asking the question is progress.

10 thoughts on “…What if?”

  1. Oh..! This sounds so right to me! I read your post and I was screaming YES! on your behalf inside. This IS your thing!! 🙂

    I have my girl in a dancing class now (creative dance and play, she’s 4), and I clearly see how they are working towards that dicipline already. I want her to dance, but not if it becomes a prison to her. It’s nice to know, though, that people like you are around! 🙂

    1. YAY! It IS, isn’t it? I’m feeling great about it. 😀

      I know EXACTLY what you mean! In so many cases creative dance is only offered to 3 and 4 year olds as a sort of pre-pre-ballet class, and that makes me so sad. If I had my way, creative dance classes would be available to kids of ALL ages, and ADULTS too (since, really, we’re the ones who need it the most). It’s so important for kids (and adults!) to remember that dancing is free and fun and not all about rules.

      …apparently I am now a woman on a mission! Again! 😛

  2. meg… i want to do whatever i can to help support this what if?…because it’s one of the most beautiful visions i’ve heard in a LONG time and i just KNOW the world needs what you’ve got to offer. please let me know how i can be of service. i’d be totally thrilled to be your first client. i’ll come to you 😉

    1. YOU HAVE A DEAL!!

      Seriously, I’ve been getting into the nuts and bolts of “OK, what can I do and how can I use the internet to do it?” and I’m definitely seeing some possibilities. And I would LOVE to have you as my first client! 😀

      YAY!!! I’m already making progress, and I’m feeling SUPER EXTRA motivated and supported now! Thank you!!! xox

  3. I have been mulling over the same things recently! Several years ago I worked as the “Super Cool Dance Teacher” at a birthday party place, where I taught creative and silly dances to little kids for about 30-40 minutes during their party. It was the coolest gig ever…I walk into the studio, engage the kids for half an hour, and get paid $20. I loved seeing the children’s expressions when they wiggled and shimmied, and I got several compliments from observing parents who said that I taught their kid more in 30 minutes than the kid’s dance teacher.

    I was young then, 23, and I felt ONTO something. I even made business cards just in case a parent wanted me to teach privately. I stopped only because at the time my husband and I began house hunting and I didn’t have the time to commit anymore.

    Playing and dancing at those parties filled me up more than teaching yoga ever did. Like you, I think I found my true calling years ago. I need to re-examine the moments from my past that filled me with joy and flesh those out for modern times.

    I feel both inspired and scared now…why is it always scary to pursue the things you love?!?!

    1. EEEEEE! Oh, I LOVE this! I really hope you explore it again! I can feel it lighting you up from here. And I know exactly the feeling you’re talking about 🙂

      I think it’s scary to pursue the things we love because they’re SO DAMN IMPORTANT to us. And that activates all of those panicky fear-monsters. You feel like if you “fail” at this Really Big Important Heart’s Desire Thing, then it’ll be unimaginably horrible and you’ll have nothing left. Far better to stay safely away from it and keep it theoretical because then you definitely can’t fail, right? (No.)

      The TRUTH is that trying and failing hurts less than not trying at all. It’s just hard for us to remember.

      What I keep hearing over and over is this: The world NEEDS your gift. The world NEEDS your passion and your wild love. And you don’t need to know all the hows or whens or have it all figured out before you start. You just need to start, and take one step at a time.

      Hmm…I smell a blog post… 😉

  4. Oh, I love this!!! And I agree, even entertaining the possibility and asking the questions is progress… and I wish you much, much progress with this!

    1. Thanks, Gin!
      Progress is happening already! Sometimes it’s maddeningly slow, but step by step I’ll get there…wherever “there” ends up being (it’s exciting to think about all the possibilities!)

  5. Fantastic! Isn’t it both the coolest and most exasperating thing that we KNOW already!?! And sorta/kinda just have to remind ourselves.

    Reading about what you knew – how you taught those classes – oh – I can SO feel the energy, power and LOVE!! yes a million times!!!

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