Authoress’ Note: This post is highly personal to me. It will contain some religious aspects. I ask the reader to be as charitable as possible when reading because my faith is extremely influential in my life.
That was the first thought that popped in my head as I watched two of my teachers demonstrate their dancing prowess during the studio’s guest party a couple of Fridays ago. Let me set up some context before I continue. Normally the studio’s parties start at 8:30 pm on Thursdays. They last an hour and are all about practicing your techniques as you dance with your fellow students and teachers. It’s basically social dancing in a highly controlled environment. A guest party, like the name implies, lets students bring friends of theirs that may be interested in dancing. There’s some refreshments, three group classes that last around a minute or two before pre-organized groups shift to the next one, student spotlights, a professional demonstration and some general dancing. So, I don’t get to dance much, which is slightly disappointing, but I appreciate publicity efforts like this. The more dancers the merrier.
As a little kid, I had lots of dreams as to what my career would be. I wanted to be everything that interested me, from a hang-glider instructor to a veterinarian to a solider. I never envisioned myself, hobby-wise, as a dancer, and it wasn’t until eighth grade that my dream of becoming a professional dancer began to form. Still, I had other dreams, too. The other dreams that were contending for my attention were a military career and genetic research. The former has been shattered, but the latter is still a significant mental presence. So, I am a biology major with intentions for research. Despite my intellectual strength in science, I’m actually stronger in English, though I don’t love it enough to major in it. Plus, English majors are a dime a dozen. Whenever I’m studying, I can’t really take my mind off dance. It brings such an indescribable joy to my life. Science does not bring the same satisfaction. It doesn’t really help when my academic advisor tells me point-blank, “Alaina, I don’t think you’re going to graduate in four years.” Yes, I’m behind in my major. It’s primarily because math is my weakest subject, and I re-took a class that I was going to fail. All this considered, I sometimes wonder, “Why am I here? Why not just go to a school that has a dance major?”
There are several reasons for this. One, my anxiety really gets in the way. I live at home because living in the dorms is quite a frightening prospect for me because of my aforementioned anxiety. Two, I really feel like God wants me to stay at my current university. I understand this completely. The main reason is because it offers such a fine education. It’s classically based (cf. quadrivium and trivium). I’ve really learned to think for myself, in addition to learning more about myself than I ever imagined. In short, I feel it would be an extremely foolish decision to give this blessing up just because I want to dance professionally. Honestly, anything that’s really worth it is worth waiting for. I love dance so much that I’m willing to wait. At the very least, I’ll get a degree in college, which is the whole aim anyway. Besides, who ever ends up staying in the job they were trained for? Until I get the all-clear, I’m perfectly happy with being a student. Who knows, maybe I’ll be able to blog about my experiences as a dance teacher someday.