Due to spring break and dealing with family matters, I was forced away from the dance studio for a few very stressful weeks. I was finally able to return last night for a few hours of teaching, and in an instant life is was great again and I look forward to tonight’s classes.
From an early age, I was trained that the dance studio is a place to leave everything that is not related to class at the door. Once you walk in the studio, it becomes all about focusing on your technique, your artistry, and overall improving yourself. Dance takes 100% of your focus and concentration and there’s no room for outside stress and worry. In giving dance class my all six days a week during the height of my training, the dance studio has become a sacred, happy place for me. I can walk in the dance space and all of my troubles seem to melt away, even if just for the length of time that I’m there.
After being away from the studio for so long- and those few weeks felt like an eternity at points- I was itching to get back to teaching. It didn’t matter to me that I was subbing for co-workers for some of my classes and didn’t fully know the recital choreography or that I was missing more than half my students for my last class, my outside stress was replaced by figuring out how I was going to deal with the current challenges and life was great.
To me, it doesn’t seem to matter if I am dancing for myself or teaching others my art, the studio is a stress reliever. Its hard to describe to someone that doesn’t spend time in the studio, but my endorphins begin flowing and I feel at peace with the world. Its like a sprinter that experiences runner’s high, or an artist that looses track of time focused on paint on canvas- nothing exists in the world other than dance. My favorite days of the week are the days that I am teaching because despite any stress or challenges I experience at the studio, I feel the highest levels of stress relief and happiness.
I think its a major mark of an artist that you don’t feel whole or at peace without your art. That you seek out any way to get more and more opportunities to hone your art (or in the case of teaching, your students’) and completely loose yourself and forget everything else in life while practicing. I look forward to the day when I open my studio and everyday can be filled with dance and the peaceful, happy feeling that comes with it.