My girls have tried dancing, but will they still dance when they're 64?
This little dancer was also recommended for "beginning hockey" by her ice skating instructor. That's versatility!
How many of you full-fledged adults (in body if not in mind) still participate in the activity/ies you enjoyed as a child? It does seem to me that people I know sometimes feel drawn to the sport-of-choice from their youth, even if it's only fleetingly, to take them back to their glory days or just reconnect with their previous passions. My husband, who has been a hardcore triathlete now for a good 20 years will every so often take on a basketball game. And because he isn't the sort to hold back, he comes home limping. But oh, the glory. And I know every limp is worth it for him.
I have been a triathlete for almost as long, so when a friend of mine, who owns a dance studio learned I had danced through college, said, "Come dance with us," I could hardly take her seriously. I'm sure, you can't either. You're thinking: Kara turns 40 next month... and--Hello! Elephant in the room (no pun intended)--she's seven months pregnant! It's OK to laugh, really. It makes me laugh, too. Even my mom and sister laughed when I told them.
Because what's so funny is, I TOOK HER UP ON IT! She sold me on two points. When I brought up the issue of age she told me the group of women ranged in age from 16 to 64. When I brought up the issue of my growing size, she reminded me we were dancing several Christmas performances at local churches. "We always need a pregnant woman at Christmas time!" It sort of felt a little like a challenge (the dancing part even more than taking the role of the Virgin Mary, although let's face it, they're both quite a stretch--holy cow! Another good pun!). Conquering challenges was what I had been used to since reframing my mind as a runner and triathlete. Could I take the challenge on?
Looking back, modern dance was probably my favorite expression of dance. I had even danced at my church growing up but had always thought that was a quirky thing my creative aunt conned me into doing--I didn't realize there was such a thing as "liturgical dance" until this friend legitimized it for me.
The idea of dancing again was also very much about those "glory days" and reconnecting with my passion. From the time I was four I immersed myself in dance, first ballet, then jazz and tap and modern and performing dance in high school and college (those girls on the sidelines, the kind with pom pons... I know, it makes me squirm to admit that to you). Once I started running, nay once I earned my first trophy (3rd place in a 5K when I was 23), I saw myself in a new way. I was an athlete. Never in my life had I been an athlete. I latched onto that new identity and it has empowered me in numerous ways. In fact, I have since buried that tidbit about me having danced for the first half of my life.
Now, since I'm dancing twice a week, being a dancer is no longer part of my buried past. And like my husband on the basketball court, I seemed to have been able to pick up where I left off. Physically my body can move just like I remember it (even with a dance partner in utero). If there's a challenge it's with my mind learning choreography--that's when I feel my age.
I'll be participating in some eight performances next month and then, I'm not sure what will become of the dance. Maybe I will continue to reacquaint myself with dancing as I grow older, if only because I'm inspired watching that woman in her 60s move just like her body remembers from her youth. I've always said about running and triathlon that I'm not in these sports to have the race of my life but rather, to race for the rest of my life. As a kid, I never thought I'd dance for the rest of my life (too funny an image!) but now... maybe I'll try that, too. Who cares if I, or others, laugh about it.
What takes you back to your youth? Still doing it? Does it make you laugh?