I think I was about 3 years old when I was taken to my first ballet class.  And for every birthday candle I blew out after that I made the same wish ~ “I wish to be a dancer.”  I wish someone had told me then that I already was one.


By the time I was an adolescent, though, I was told in no uncertain terms that actually, I could never be a dancer since I was “too tall”.  Too tall for ballet.  I wish someone had told me that I was already a dancer.


When I was graduating from high school and considering options I was much too “rational” (and much to scared) to consider a career in the arts.  Although, to be honest, I still wasn’t sure what I “wanted to be”.  I wish someone had told me that I was a dancer.


So I grew up, and I studied, and I worked, and I parented.  But different forms of dance always held their place on the periphery of my life.  I convinced myself that it was a nice hobby, a pastime, but nothing I could ever dare to take too seriously.  I wish someone had pointed out to me that I was always happiest when I was dancing.


And then someone said, “you should try Nia”.  And then they said it again.  And then someone else said it.  So I finally did.  And just twenty minutes into my first class I knew that dance was about to move its way out of the periphery and back to the centre of my life.  I was ready to dance my way back into the glow of all those birthday candles.


This year I celebrate 10 years of teaching Nia and it still gives me as much joy as my first class.  I am also a member of a community dance company where I get to explore and perform a wide variety of dance styles and even call myself a choreographer.  Dance nurtures me, sustains me, balances me, excites me.  Dance sits comfortably at the centre of my life.  Now, instead of simply wishing, I can say I am a dancer.  I was always a dancer.


 ~ Lainie Magidsohn, 17 September 2013

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I acknowledge with humility and respect that I am an uninvited guest/settler on the land in which I live and work ~ the territory of the Anishinaabe, Mississauga and Haudenosaunee peoples. I acknowledge the current treaty holders, the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation. This territory is the subject of the Dish With One Spoon Wampum Belt Covenant, an agreement to peaceably share and care for the Great Lakes region.  I recognise the enduring presence of all First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples.