There was a young girl at the studio tonight. I would guess she was about twelve just from looking at her. I knew instantly that I had to go introduce myself, after all, that was me almost five years ago. I know that’s what I would have wanted if there had been someone like me at the studio when I first started. Someone who had been there, done that, someone I could relate to and possibly learn from.
We got to talk a little bit. She and her dad are taking swing lessons together. I complimented her footwork. She expressed how much fun she was having. I was asked to dance so our conversation ended and then she left the studio with her dad.
Just seeing her in the same sort of situation I was in a couple of years ago made me feel really nostalgic. Kind of the same way I felt when I realized the three teenagers visiting last Friday had been driven by their parents.
I remember a time when my mom, nanny, or brother would have to drop me up and pick me up at the studio. I remember how much waiting I did in the corner of the studio. Waiting for my late chauffer, waiting for someone to ask me to dance, waiting for someone to talk to me, waiting for the night to be over.
I don’t know when the shy, waiting version of me changed, but I’m so glad she did.
I have no idea what my life would be like now if I hadn’t continued taking lessons and attending group classes and parties at the studio. I do know that my life would feel so much emptier without the people I’ve met there. I also know I would have missed out on finding a true passion in my life in dancing. I also probably wouldn’t be certain I’d want to continue my studies at BU without my ballroom team waiting there for me. What else would I be doing with my Wednesday and Friday nights? What would I look forward to most when coming home for breaks from school? What would I do without a community to share my passion not only for dancing, but for sparkles and pretty nails?
Okay, I know I would have discovered a couple of those things on my own somehow, but my point is that I’m so incredibly grateful for the community I’ve become a part of the past 5 years. I don’t know how my life would be without my little safe haven, and I don’t know how it has changed me, but I’m glad I am the person I am. And I think I am that person in large part because of this studio and the people in it.