How MagzD got her Groove {It} back

Since I could move, I’ve been dancing:

Tiny dancer

But in 2005, I quit ballet.

I left the Teachers’ Training program at the Edmonton School of Ballet, defeated and jaded. I knew that I would never take my Associate exam, because I felt that I would never be able to pass my Intermediate exam without major orthopaedic surgery or a small miracle from God. I was almost 24 years old; I had only been seriously studying ballet for 5 years.

The same year, I closed Expressions Dance Studio: my baby, my dream, my everything. Small town dance training was just too much for a girl in her early 20’s with zero business sense, in a time before social media and online marketing. I was out of my league, and I left my dream baby in the streets of Thorsby to collect dust.

That was 7 years ago. It’s hard to believe it’s been that long when it seems like just yesterday. It’s hard to believe I was only twenty-three years old when I walked away from all of it. But I took a lot from those life lessons, those months and years of dedication and poverty. Every ounce of who I am today found its seed in those years as a ballerina-in-training and small-town dance teacher. It is the very depth of my dance roots.

I thought I found my way back in 2010. After a few years of casual teaching, I found myself immersed in a different niche of the dance world. Needless to say, that ended painfully and brutally. But somewhere, deep in my heart, that seed of dance lived on.

When Kristi asked me to teach her teen ballet class this year, I was hesitant at first. I was scared, I was jaded, and I was uncomfortable. Little did I know that taking those 18 teenagers for an hour and a half a week would be the balm that I needed to soothe my love of dance back into existence.

The moment I played that syllabus CD again, my body woke up. I was alive again. My muscles remembered, and they coaxed my heart back into a rhythm I’d missed so much. Every Monday night, I left happier than when I’d arrived. I looked forward to seeing my Monday class. It reminded my of my little studio, the little dream that never fully matured – right down to the small town hall and the old ladies’ potluck dinners in the basement :)

Then we started dancing, choreographing, creating. I started to build a vision for my ballerinas’ festival piece. I had a song I’d saved for years, and a dream of how it would look. A spark that I thought I’d lost was reignited. I was creating again. I was contributing to my art again.

It was beautiful.

It was hard, of course. There were weeks that I felt locked and choked, rushed for time, and as if I was constantly yelling over 18 teenage girls. Oh wait…I was ;) But then came our showcase day, and I was thrown back into the flurry and excitement of lipstick and eyelashes, sweltering heat and butterflies.

And I danced. I danced on that stage.

It was nothing, really. A little finale number that Kristi and I decided to do with the kids. But my god – it opened up my soul to sweat under those lights, to smile and laugh and DANCE. It felt like a long-lost friend.

And then?

On a dark night in April, I won a choreography award for my little dance. I was shocked. I squealed and skipped a little. My dancers laughed at my excitement. It had been so long. I was so proud of them for interpreting my vision – they made my work look good.

And then?

Another choreography award, and a gold mark at their last festival performance. And suddenly, I knew who I was again – I’d found my heart again, and knew that I still had the wings to fly. I knew that I could still create beauty and excitement onstage, and that I could still inspire students to be beautiful and exciting.

Dance has been my existence for as long as I can remember. What started as a favour for a friend and some free time this fall has reignited a passion I thought I lost. It’s filled a hole in my heart and soul – one that I thought was irreparable. I thought I’d never dance again, and yet here I am, dancing to the radio in my kitchen. Moving and shaking, laughing and singing.

Living.

Because MagzD finally got her Groove {It} back.

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7 thoughts on “How MagzD got her Groove {It} back

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