Seven or eight year old me walked down the hallway of our three bedroom/two bath house on Summerwood Drive toward the voice of my mother. I can still see the grayish-blue carpet, visualize passing the bathroom on the left before the hallway emptied out into our living area. My mom was sitting at the dining table they still have, balancing her checkbook in the same way that I’m sure she still does.
“You’re going to start dance class on Tuesdays.”
And that’s all I really remember. I don’t remember if I asked to start dance, or if it was my parents’ idea, but the following Tuesday I showed up at Tumble ‘n Dance and started gymnastics, ballet, and tap classes. My stage debut was shuffling my ribbon-tied tap shoes to the Andrew Sisters belting
“Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy”. Over the next ten years, I would also take lyrical, jazz, modern, hip hop, and dabble a toe in pointe.
I grew up being pretty shy, from what I can remember. I’ve always been introverted. But there was something about dance that brought me out of my shell. There was something about the stage that made me feel safe and more like myself than anywhere else. There was something about a wall of mirrors and an empty floor that felt like home.
I still love to dance. It’s an outlet of release for pent up emotions and a way I sometimes worship when I am happy and don’t have the words to say.
I miss taking formal classes sometimes. But as I hang up all of the tiny dancer ornaments on my tree, I’m thankful for all of the memories and friendships and experiences dance gave me. It definitely influenced who I am today.
With love, Mal