If there is one thing I truly miss about childhood other then living life free of responsibilities, it’s dance. I grew up dancing pretty much as long as I can remember. I started hula dancing when I was about 5 or so years old and kept doing it until I graduated high school. I also took occasional classes in hip hop, tap, lyrical, and jazz throughout middle and high school. It was a way for me to stay creative, and involved. Basically, just doing something. With hula, it was a way for me to stay connected to my culture. Dance was also a way for me to stay active without feeling like I am working out. I loved it. I loved spending time with my friends doing something other than sitting down. I loved performing on stage. Dancing was so much easier for me than singing because I could mess up without anyone noticing really. I got to perform in so many awesome spaces and experiences. It gave me so many opportunities and I loved it. However, I haven’t danced in a class or performance since I’ve been to college. No structured time for me to just dance. And words can’t describe how much I miss it.
Dance was a creative outlet I didn’t fully take advantage of when I was younger. It was something I just did and I wasn’t the best at it. I still am not the best dancer but it’s not about that for me. I don’t do it because it is all I want to do in my life. I’m not looking to make a career out of it. I danced because I was free. I danced for fun. I got to just move and express myself. I felt like something I was doing was beautiful. I could just disappear and not think for a bit. It made me proud. I got to be connected to music and present something to someone who didn’t do it. They wanted to see me dance and that made me feel amazing. With hula, it is such a big part of my culture and something that I loved even though I didn’t realize it. I miss being able to keep in touch with my Hawaiian side and share that with people. I miss having those designated times every week where I get to dance hula. I miss the music and connecting with other people who share in my culture and dance. I think as I grow older, I am finding how expressive dance can be. I didn’t take advantage of that when I was younger. I would do the routines as they were choreographed. I never really just danced, no routine, no plan, just dance. What I love about dance today is the true beauty and artistry in it. People can just freestyle and it will look like they have worked on it for years. Dance routines now are done to display a message. And they can be powerful. I watch routines from dance TV shows or YouTube and start crying because it all was gorgeous. I wish I could just get in a studio and dance to the music I feel the most. I understand how music can impact people but I wish I could show that to more. Dance is a universal language that anyone can understand. I wish I had a place where I could explore more about doing this and create pieces to do so. Dancing is also a great workout without feeling like you are working out. That is really all I want in life.
Unfortunately, I don’t have the time or money currently to support going back to take dance classes. Hopefully, one day I will so I can begin to explore this again. To the people who share their incredible dances, thank you for expressing yourself and showing the world the power of dance.