I WAS ALWAYS A DANCER
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