I have experienced plenty of things in my 6-year study of flamenco that could have taken me out of the game. This runs the gamut of physical injury, emotional trauma, self-doubt, conflict with loved ones regarding my time investment, the lack of time, in general, a new job,moving, life-changing events, and the list goes on. I’ve even been given the ultimatum, “it” or me! Needless to say, I am still dancing. 🙂
I didn’t choose dance, dance chose me. I will argue that mentality to my death. I have been dancing my whole life, in one form or another, and cannot conceive it not being there for me. But in contemplating my struggles to keep flamenco in my life, I got to thinking about other dancers, musicians, art aficionados – is there something that would make you quit flamenco – or any other passion you are involved in? Is there some event in your life that would cause you to hang up your flamenco shoes temporarily or permanently?
During the numerous times I could not dance, I found my motivation in other ways, but still remained connected to flamenco. I adjusted and modified and kept in the game. I would practice however I could or however my body would let me, read, watch videos, listen to flamenco music, write about my challenges, etc. It wasn’t the same, of course, but it allowed me to stay “in the loop.” Surprisingly, I improved at things by happy accident!
And now I know, if the moment came where I could no longer fully dance, I have ways to still express myself and would not have to give up my beloved flamenco completely. That, truly, has been a very comforting discovery.
I firmly believe that everyone needs something that feeds your soul. Something that gives you happiness from within. Something that gets you excited and enables you to learn and grow. Dance is that, for me.
Don’t give up your passion because it is too hard or because you don’t think you are good enough. If the passion and purpose you felt when you first started is gone for good, then you may need to re-think some things. That’s my line in the sand; when I am no longer learning, having fun, feeling energized and empowered, I will stop dancing (God forbid). Until then, bring it on! What is your line in the sand?
This post is definitely not meant to offend, criticize or pass judgement on ANYONE!! We all have our own reasons and motivation for things we do. I fully understand life happens!
What I DO hope I can achieve here, however, if you are on the fence or living with restrictions that keep you from participating in your passion as much as you would like, is to offer encouragement and support. Where there is a will, there is a way. Lord knows, I can say that first-hand. It’s up to you to find your “why.” If you don’t want to give it up, don’t! You might have to be creative, but it’s not impossible.
Keep those dancing feet going and enjoy the journey. This is YOUR story.