Finding the Time to Dance

I really love to dance. I have since I was six years old. Now that I teach pretty much full-time, it can be a challenge to find the time to dance just for myself. I do enjoy teaching steps and routines to my students. I love watching them grow and learn, and I especially love seeing them perform once they have mastered the techniques and routines I teach them.

But when I am teaching, I am not dancing. I’m instructing. And when I am working on routines or performing moves for the class, I am not dancing for myself. I’m not dancing my steps, I am demonstrating a routine someone else thought up. While that is not a bad thing, and the routines are always fun and interesting to perform, it isn’t the same as dancing for myself.

That is all well and good for a while but eventually I can feel myself dragging. Work doesn’t quite become boring or monotonous like it would if I had a desk job, but I do feel heavy on my feet and in my heart. Like most creative people, I need to find time to practice my own art and do what lights me up. You know that expression, “you can’t pour from an empty cup”? That’s how I feel about it.

Lucky for me, I have two ways to deal with this. I joined a dance troupe about six weeks ago and we practice twice a week. I’m loving it so far. The other way I cope is that Janine gave me the keys to the dance studio three years ago and now I can come and go as I please without her being there. The best part of this arrangement is that I can go in before the day starts, before I’ve been on my feet and dancing for five hours straight, and I have the whole place to myself.

You can ask just about any member of my family and they will tell you the same thing: I have always been a morning person. When I have the place to myself like that, I can put on whatever crazy music I feel like listening to and I can dance however I want. I can do salsa or jazz or ballet. I can do a routine from Chicago or Zumba or make something up. It reminds me that I love to dance, that I love being in this studio. I get to fill my own cup so that I have the energy and the love to teach my own students and help them to fill their cups as well.

How do you incorporate time for the things you love into your daily life? I’d love to hear suggestions and tips if you have them!