It’s National Dance Day! In honor of this special day, I penned an open love letter to my beloved DANCE for ALWAYS having a special place in my heart.
To My Beloved Dance,
We began our journey when I was only 7 and we have never been apart since. And boy oh boy, what a journey we’ve been on ever since. Here are some of my favorite highlights that we’ve shared.
New York State Fair Winner, Dancing Papa Smurf, Howard University Dance Ensemble, Alvin Ailey American Dance Center, Talent Prelim Winner for Miss Maryland, Radio City Christmas Spectacular, National Tours, Broadway, Meeting my Husband, College Professor, Director, Choreographer, Teaching Artist, and now Certified Coach.
And while our ride has been fun and fruitful, I have also spent many years wishing I were so much better for you.
I spent so many years comparing myself to others and looking outside of myself for permission to love you as much as I did, instead of just being my own kind of dancer.
There were times where I shamed myself for being such an imperfect dancer.
Over the years, I have encountered my fair share of choreographers who just didn’t vibe with my style. I took their criticism very personally. Sadly, I chose to believe their opinion of me over my own.
Now, I know that is EXACTLY what happens when you seek approval and permission outside of yourself.
Because of all that inner struggle, there were a few moments in my life and career where I seriously questioned if we even belonged together anymore. Remember when I tried breaking up with you my freshman year in college (I gained 20 lbs.) and I tried again when I went to work at the Mandarin Oriental, NYC & Travaasa Austin (I gained 20 lbs.)? But we always found our way back to each other.
Just when I didn’t think I could love you more than I did, I found an even deeper love. It’s a very personal love. Nothing that involves making money to pay the rent. Nothing that involves character heels, fishnet tights, or top and bottom lashes.
Social dancing. I AM OBSESSED.
I love learning how to be a great partner (I’m a “follow” and it’s a freakin’ skill). I love learning all these new styles of dance. I love the community. Those are the obvious reasons to love social dance.
Here are the more spiritual ones that make me swoon. See if you catch the deeper significance.
I get to practice the art of surrender and being in the moment.
When I surrender and go for the ride, it makes dancing with someone so much easier and so much more joyful.
As a follow, I am totally in my feminine and my partner is in their masculine.
I get to witness in such a fun, playful way the beauty of these two energies at play and how they are so different, yet equally beautiful. You cannot have one without the other.
Mostly, social dancing has taught me that it’s 100% okay to follow my bliss.
I am learning if I want the dance to go well, then I must TRUST my partner and LET THEM LEAD.
I have learned that if I slow down and wait for guidance, I will be shown what to do next and when I do that, it all flows so smoothly.
But…..when I don’t do these things, and I do what I think is the right thing or the next thing, I am met with so much resistance.
We bump into each other.
Sometimes we step on each other’s feet.
We are out of sync, out of rhythm, and out of flow.
Such a metaphor for life.
There is no greater feeling for me than when I’m dancing.
To my beloved dance, I thank you. You have remained loyal and true. You have always been my soft place to land. Our love is unconditional. I cherish you. And I honor you today and every day.
With Love & Abundance,
PS. Here is a clip of me dancing at MidSummer Night’s Swing at Lincoln Center. I have never seen or danced with this partner before. If you pay close enough attention you can see the surrender, the feminine/masculine energies, the follow/lead, and most of all you can FEEL my joy.
PPS. Did you get a chance to download my Birthday Journal Prompt Bonus? You don’t want to miss out on these powerful journal prompts to help you follow YOUR BLISS! Here’s the link: http://bit.ly/keenahbirthday