Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at SBU chapter.

I technically started dancing when I was very young, but started doing it more full time in the 5th grade.

Although I don’t currently dance anymore, I still hold it near and dear to my heart. As someone who went through two different studios, a mentally and verbally abusive dance teacher, many dance competitions, even more dance recitals, and approximately eight years of tears, bruises and sore limbs every week, I have a LOT of food for thought when it comes to the concept of dance.

Don’t knock it ’til you try it

Even though dance has put me through so much, if you’ve ever had your heart set on taking a dance class, it’s never too late. Places like Broadway Dance Center in NYC have open classes and are super fun, especially when you aren’t super trained. It might just become your new hobby.

know when it’s time to say goodbye

Somewhat similar to a toxic relationship, you have to know when you’ve seen the final red flag before you’ve had enough. Even though I went to a great dance studio for four years, and am so grateful for everything I’ve learned, the biggest thing I learned was this: being treated like you are worthless is not worth it. At every dance studio, there’s always going to be one ‘Abby Lee Miller wannabe’ that makes you miserable. Unfortunately, I was living in a real-life version of Dance Moms. I had a studio owner/dance teacher that would constantly show up for our classes late and scream at us if we messed up, but would refuse to teach us technique. Eventually, enough was enough and nobody would stand for it anymore. I’m proud to say that many students and teachers from that studio have found a better environment to dance in. It’s hard to leave a situation like that, especially when dance is your passion, but you have to always remember that your wellbeing is more important than staying with someone who makes you feel bad about yourself every day.

More of a chore

Towards the end of my senior year and when I was going through personal rough patches in my life, I started to feel like dance was more of a chore than a passion of mine. Showing up for class and showing up for my teammates felt like something I was forced to do. Of course, I still showed up for them a majority of the time, but some days, it was hard to get through it because I would tell myself, “You aren’t good enough anyways, so why bother?” In reality, that wasn’t true at all. All dancers know that you are your biggest critic. No matter how hard you practice, you still don’t feel like you are doing enough. But trust me. You are.

escape from reality

In all seriousness, as someone who has gone through bad stages in mental health, dance was always there as an escape. Even though it didn’t help at times, dance was always a way to forget about homework, family problems, drama, and heartbreak. Once the music started playing, I knew that if I just stayed focus on the movement of the dance, all of my troubles would slowly fade away and I’d feel at ease.

Although I wish I could go back to dancing full time, I realized: now that it isn’t competitive anymore, I can always go back and visit for fun and teach classes here and there. And now, I get to watch all of my younger friends blossom into beautiful dancers and my favorite instructors be amazing role models. All of that, plus the memories of all I’ve accomplished, is what keeps the love for dance still in my heart.

Faith Pucci is a sophomore at St. Bonaventure University. She is from Brookfield, Connecticut and is super excited to be a part of the Her Campus team! Besides Her Campus at SBU, Faith is an adolescent education major with a mathematics concentration and is also in Bona Buddies, a youth mentoring group. She has enjoyed writing since she was young and feels that Her Campus is a great escape from life and gives her the opportunity to express how she feels to the world. When she's not doing school-related activities, Faith loves to watch "Shameless" and "Friends" and hanging out with her friends off-campus. Listening to music in the car is another big passion of hers, as well as hanging out with her dog, William Francis. A little fun fact about Faith is that she used to do competitive dance for many years.