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I used to dream of sugarplum fairies and flawless turnout. My thoughts were preoccupied with pirouettes, fouettes, and perfectly pointed feet. Once upon a time, I fell in love with dance, and it was the only thing that brought joy in my life. That is, until senior year of high school came around and my dreams were replaced with the horrors of university rejections and one-sided heartbreaks. It was also around this time I was forced to choose what was actually important in my life. I had no choice but to prioritize the practical duties of my life as a soon-to-be graduate and leave my artistic endeavours behind. To be fair, the fire that once burned so brightly for my love of dance did fade quite a bit as well. It was as if I thought that to grow up, I had to leave my childhood passions for good. 

Well, I was very, very wrong. Throughout my first and second year of university, I kept telling myself I would return to dance. That I would at least take one ballet class. However, I continued to put it off due to the fear that it just wouldn’t be the same anymore. I worried about the fact that my past flexibility was gone and that I wouldn’t love it as much. Even more, my body just didn’t look the same. 

When I signed up to be a model for the Fashion for Change club here at the University of Waterloo, it didn’t even occur to me that I would be dancing as well; that part went completely over my head. At the first two dance rehearsals, I almost wanted to leave the Zoom call halfway through. I truly felt like a fish out of water. My body, now accustomed to living a sedentary lifestyle, refused to execute the moves properly. It was as if there was a disconnect between my brain and body. Everything just felt so horribly wrong and I couldn’t believe that there was once a time where I loved this art form so much. 

As much as I wanted to quit, I knew that there must have been a reason that I got another chance to dance again, as cheesy as it sounds. There was a little hopeful voice in the back of my brain that told me to keep going. That voice was right. All I needed to do was rip off the bandaid and get over my initial fear and doubt, because by the third and fourth rehearsal, I finally felt my body warm up to dancing again. That big spark of joy that only appears when I dance also returned. 

If, by chance, you happen to be reading this, then I urge you to reconnect with a hobby or passion you might have forgotten about. Do something not for monetary value or to be loved, but do it out of owing yourself a moment of pure sublime. 

Jasmine Yan

Waterloo '23

Hey, it's nice to meet you! I'm a student at the University of Waterloo studying SDS and psychology. When I'm not writing for HerCampus, I sing, play the piano, and spend an embarrassing amount of time scrolling through Pinterest and TikTok.
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