A Time to Mourn, and a Time to Dance

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Losing my Mom has been a huge change in my life. We shared everything dance from the time I was 8 years old.

For many years, we shared classes and recitals. She taught me to sew my pointe shoe ribbons and elastic, made my costumes, and took me all over Alabama and the surrounding states to classes, workshops, auditions, etc. I always knew we had something special, but I didn't fully realize just how unique we were.

I watched my Mom get frustrated in class, pushing herself to do what the teenagers did. She was always pushing to become more flexible, and it was hard for her to pick up combinations quickly. But, she always fought for it and pushed through. She had amazing arms and √©paulement - something I still wish I had gotten from her! My Dad was at every recital filming us; these were the days of VHS tape recorders. We would go home and spend the rest of the night watching our performances over and over. 

Seeing my Mom dance was my inspiration for wanting to teach adults. I grew up seeing the adult dancer from the inside out, so I understand the benefits and the struggles. It's beautiful.

But, the biggest thing to come out of this, for me, is a new-found fuel to my fire. I have allowed myself to be fed up and frustrated with myself and my body, and I thought I had thrown in the towel forever on my dancing. 

Then it hit me. Mom returned to dance when she was in her 40's. She danced for YEARS after that. She became capable of doing things she had never done in her youth. She attended teacher training seminars and became a ballet teacher - and a darn good one. None of this began for her until I was 8 and she was going back after almost two decades away from it. 

What am I so afraid of? WHAT is holding ME back?

Only one answer - me. 

In her last couple of months, Mom pointed me in certain directions and helped set me on a path. After her death, that path opened up even more. So here I am, dancing 6 days a week, and getting back into better shape than I have been since I was 18. I don't know what the future holds or what I'm doing it for, but I know I'm doing it for me and I'm taking care of myself in the process. I feel like I'm where I should be and where she would want me to be. I know if she were here I would be able to talk to her about it, but I also wouldn't want to dance as much because I would have wanted to spend more time with her. I feel like the baby bird still being pushed out of the nest by my Mom, and I know I will end up doing exactly what I should be doing - whatever that might be.


Natalie said...

What a beautiful and emotional story. Sometimes we don't know why we are doing what we are doing besides that we love it. And sometimes that is enough. Your mom is guiding you.

Unknown said...

This was so beautiful and inspiring to read; both as a mother to daughters and as an adult ballet dancer. Thank you so much for sharing. <3

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