I’ve been dancing since I was 3 years old. From the day my mom put a tutu on me, all I wanted to do was dance. My entire youth was filled with music and dance. My love for dance was the reason I fell in love with Zumba Fitness. It made my workouts fun again. I was doing something that had captured my heart at 3 and never let go.
After 7 years, in a studio, leading a Zumba class, is home to me. Whether I lead a small class or a packed room, I give them my all for an hour. The music fills the room and the outside world melts away for that one hour. I’m back to being just me, before I was Mrs. or Mommy. Aside from my very first class and my first class returning after I had my daughter, I never felt nervous or uncomfortable as the instructor. Most everyone else say it’s because of my dance background. Maybe, I thought.
However, I can positively tell you, I know now that is not the case!
I recently was asked to start an adult hip hop class at a studio I have been teaching Zumba at for a few years now. I agreed because I thought it would be a great switch from a fitness class and reintroduce myself to a true dance class. As the date of my first class grew closer, I sat down to pick out some music for the class. I grabbed my laptop and some paper to jot down counts and sat at the kitchen table. And nothing.
How is it that when I have to come up with a playlist for Zumba I can speed through and it’s almost second nature? Was it because I’ve been taking and teaching classes for a long time? Is it because I knew what to expect from class now?
The nerves began to creep in. I didn’t want to disappoint the people who would show up to the class or my boss. I figured I was over thinking it and walked away from the table.
A few days passed and we were headed into the week that my class was to begin. I still had nothing. Needless to say, as I drove up to the studio that night of my first class, I at least had my music and an arsenal of moves to teach. But I had the overwhelming feeling of inadequacy. I wasn’t a dancer anymore! Who was I kidding? I couldn’t do this, this wasn’t me anymore. But I took a deep breath and walked out of my car with my confident facade on and headed into the studio.
Right up until the music played, the nerves had fully taken over. But as soon as I felt the music creep into my body, I felt at ease. After an hour of dancing fun, the class left smiling and drenched with sweat. Mission accomplished. I left feeling a sense of relief and a renewed love of dance.
What the whole experience reminded me was this: Never forget who you are. Many things happen during the course of our lifetime. We move, we lose friendships, we reprioritize. We gain new titles like, girlfriend and wife and mom. All these things change who we are but do not define who we’ve always been. That’s why it’s so important to make time for ourselves and the things that make us happy. Sometimes, we need to look inside ourselves to get to know that person all over again. Sometimes, we feel as if that person was lost along life’s winding path. But sometimes, all it takes is some really good 90s hip hop music to dance to to realize you’ve been there all along.