Thank you, dance, for everything you have given me. You gave me the title “dancer,” which is a title I hold dear. I’ve been dancing since I was four years old and never stopped. For 16 years now, you have stayed constant. Moving from small town Bristol, Rhode Island to semi-city New Bedford, Massachusetts at seven years old. Being diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes at eight years old. Discovering I’m prone to anemia at 12 years old. Through all this change, dance, you never changed. I know I did. You are probably proud that I did, otherwise I would not be where I am. Know that a huge part of why I am who I am is because of you, dance. A mostly confident, unshy, happy, upbeat, fidgety, wanna keep moving kind of girl. I am confident and outgoing because of you, dance. Beginning dance lessons and performing on stage at four years old left no room to be shy. Not that I was shy before.
Thank you, dance. You’ve gotten me through so much. Like when a boy in my seventh grade class kept going to the hospital. I thought he was sick. Actually, he was wrecking his body. Drinking five large Monster energy drinks a day, everyday. One day, while sitting in chapel, hearing the Bible lesson for that day, I noticed everyone was sad, and that an ambulance had come to the school. It was for the boy. When I found out why, I was in a state of shock the rest of the day.
I’m lucky that a few days later, I had dance practice. It was such a relief to put on my ballet and pointe shoes that night. I told my dance teacher I’d had a rough week but I didn’t say why. She immediately replied, “Well, we’re going to forget about that for now and have fun. We’re gonna make it a great week.” And she was right, you took the rough week and made it a great one. You’ve always been able to do that for me, dance.
Thank you, dance for the way you make my good days better. I honestly don’t have many truly, bad days in my life. I could count them all on one hand.Yes, I’ve had less than stellar days, like the times when I would fight with my friends or get a bad grade, but it was all about perspective. It was about asking, was it a bad day or a bad five minutes? I asked my dad once why I never seem to have bad days, he said “It’s because of your attitude.” He was right. I miss him.
It’s my attitude that has made my life so bright and happy. It’s choosing every morning to find something in this day to love. It’s believing God has a purpose for me today. It’s understanding the mutual trust between me and those I love. It’s knowing that despite having gone through toxic friendships, there are good people out there. I’ve met them and made a few of them my friends. It’s a desire to know who you are and how strong you are. I started learning who I was and how strong I am in middle school. I really found out in high school when I was 16. This is what makes up my attitude and gives me a sunny outlook on life. And dance, you have helped tremendously with that. Getting me through the rough and into the great. So thank you, dance, for being a part of my life, especially when I needed you.