The dance world is wild. It can swollow you up and spit you out. Speak with any former dancer and you’ll hear of a love-hate relationship with dance. You can feel the joy and passion when they speak of their fond memories of the studio and the stage, but there’s deeper layers of injuries, rejection, body-image issues and more.
I spent most of my life in the dance studio. I began dancing at age four, and when you’re young you have all this confidence in your ability and no fear to be uniquely you. As I grew older, the amount of rejection I faced from auditions and level placements in college started to wear me down. I questioned my talents, my strengths and my ability to actually make it in the dance world. While I was in college I would face many battles to get placed in certain technique levels in order to graduate with my BFA in teaching dance (I even had to fight to get accepted into the BFA program) that would result in many tearful phonecalls to my mom about how I will never be good enough. How many of us faced that same thought as a dancer? I’ll never be good enough.
They say that comparison is the thief of joy, and that’s the truth. Being pinned up against other dancers and friends begins to wear on you and you have no more joy to continue dancing. So you stop. And then you wake up one day and you’re one of those people that says “Oh yeah, I used to dance, but not anymore.” And just saying that hurts because deep down there is still so much love for dance inside you.
At this point as the reader you’re proably thinking “well if dance was so awful why did you stick with it”. I have a loaded answer to that question. The short answer- dance chose me. The long answer is that dance has brought me loads of joy. Being able to see a movement and translate it to my body, to be able to connect with music (that I love almost as much as dance) and move my body in unision with the music, to gain new skills and strengths, to surprise myself with what I am capable of doing, finding new avenues of creavity. And the biggest thing of all, to be able to express all that is inside of me, non-verbally, but through movement is the greatest gift. I may not be able to fully articulate with my words how I feel or who I truly am, but when I am dancing that is my truth. Dance is my words, it gave me my voice.
I never gave up on dance though, I kept fighting. After I graduated college I had the opportunity to create what I wanted with my degree. It was in my hands and no one elses. There was never a place where I felt like I truly belonged, so I decided to make one. And that’s how TTB was born. I needed to take out the toxicity of the dance world and get to the root of what draws us to it; to find joy through movement. I didn’t care about what “level” or experience you had with dance, but if you knew if your heart that you wanted to be a dancer, you deserve to find a place that supports that. Using group fitness as a catalyst to bring movement (dance) to the masses was my driving force behind Through the Body. The name Through the Body exists because I believe life is a visceral experience, we live and experiene life through the body. And dance is the way I express those experiences- through the body.
TTB exists to spread joy, to build confidence and empower you. To show you all that you’re capable of. And that yes, despite when you started your journey, you are in fact a dancer. My mission when I teach is to share my passion with you, to share my joy with you. It’s been such a gift to see people come through our studio doors and leave happy and accomplished. Despite all the hardships I have faced as a dancer, I am thankful for my path because it led me to create this beautiful space.