Fall has begun. According to the calendar, it started over a week ago on September 23rd, but where I live, we had nothing but 90 degree weather for a few days. Today felt different. It felt like fall had officially begun. The trees were swaying in the windy breeze, the sky became cloudier, and the temperature finally dropped to the 60s. Even leaves seemed to be falling more frequently than on other days! Maybe it was more than just my excitement combined with the feeling of picking up one of my most treasured hobbies after over a year.
Dancing has been a part of my life even before I could walk or talk (you don’t need to know how to walk if you want to dance, trust me). Since graduating over a year ago, I have been facing the challenges of “adulting,” focusing on working my way towards Graduate school by taking some classes and working. “Adulting” gets the best of you because it makes you skip out on hobbies that you have always loved and admired. For me, it was dancing.
Dance has always helped me cope with anger, sadness, and stress. It’s often my go-to drug that has me feeling fit and happy. When I realized I was letting academics and my work life take over my longest-lasting hobby, I knew I had to change it somehow. I searched for dance companies and instructors that would give me a chance. Finally, I reached out to a dance instructor that teaches kid and adult dance classes and she let me try out one of her fitness classes, so she could test my skills. After that a month passed by and I heard nothing from her. Finally, she contacted me to say that she had been receiving quite a few choreography offers lately and wanted to delegate some to me. Happily, I took the offer, which came with the task of choreographing to a song in a language completely different from my own.
Just yesterday, I spent hours coming up with choreography to this song, asking one friend that spoke the language and using Google Translate to guide me through the difficult task. Somehow, the excitement of pursuing dancing again overwhelmed my stress about choreographing the song and I was secretly delighted to do it. As I taught the song to two people today who were planning on learning it for a wedding, every jump with my legs and swift movements of my arm, took me back to those happy days in college and high school when I would spend hours dancing in my room, on stage, or in a studio every week. The familiar tapping of my bare feet against the polished wooden floors made me realize how much I missed the art form and how much I needed it to come back into my life.
After choreographing the initial song, the organizer also wanted me to teach a mom and her daughters some moves to a new Hindi song. Bollywood songs were my forte and I happily obliged. The joy I saw in the daughters’ faces was just like my own. It was why I had danced ever since the tender age of 2.
“Adulting” may be stressful and annoying at times, but it has made me learn that I can also make time for my passion in the midst of my tight schedules. The familiar movements of my hands and feet evoked an inner joy that is still indescribable. I will never compromise upon my passions again because incorporating those, too, are what helps define you as an adult.