After 10 years, I can’t believe the day has finally come, but it is here. The day I “retire” as a dancer. Officially, anyway.
As some of you may know, I’ve had quite few injuries throughout the years from dancing & I have also been battling a pretty intense chronic illness over the past few years that isn’t getting better and makes everyday activities extremely difficult.
Due to these problems, I made a very difficult decision to discontinue my dance career in order to focus on my health and healing so as to not jeopardize my goals for the future & to stop making my problems worse rather than better. This was an extremely difficult thing to do as dancing gives me so much joy and has been one of the most important parts of my life for the last 10 years, and it has given me more incredible memories than I can mention, but I knew in my heart this had to be done. I tried to shake the thought of not dancing anymore & planned on dancing anyway, but through a lot of prayer, God told me he has a different plan that I need to listen to and trust. It’s hard to give up something you love so much, but there sometimes reaches a point where hat thing does you more harm than good- like when it causes you excruciating physical pain because that limits your body’s ability to function like a human body should function because it is so beat up from the wear & tear and rigorous training. Tears were definitely shed because this is very bittersweet, but I know there are great things ahead and a new beginning will emerge for me.
I’m so thankful for everyone that supported me and came to see me this year and encouraged me through this great experience. I’m sad to see it end so soon, but my stubbornness & disobedience of doctors suggestions throughout my years of dancing have put my health and well-being at risk, as I focused on dancing rather than treating symptoms and getting better & that is something I must stop doing, though it be difficult. (Also,s/o to my amazing parents for being the ultimate dance mom & dad and coming to every recital, competition and game, buying me tights and keeping the biofreeze, blue emu, arnica & ice packs stocked up for after those long 6 hour rehearsals, and for driving me around & getting me private lessons when I sucked really bad so I could improve. y’all rock for that.)
I am extremely grateful for the past year on the Sader Belles dance team- I truly was the greatest year filled with some of the greatest people I’ve ever met! I wish so badly that I could be returning to dance with this awesome team, but dancing is becoming extremely difficult for my body & could actually be quite dangerous if overdone (considering how many years I’ve pushed it well beyond its limits & refused to actually give my self recovery time)- and I feel like if I had returned for another year, symptoms could worsen and affect my ability to dance my best and I could let the team down at a performance -which is the last thing I want to do. I know God has great things in store for me but right now my heart aches and I’m not sure what to expect in the future, which is why I’m asking for prayers right now.
I’ll never forget how much dance has taught me or meant to me, or the people it’s allowed me to know. It will forever be one of the greatest gifts God has given me and I’ll treasure it in my heart always. Once a dancer, always a dancer.
P.S. this doesn’t mean I’ll never dance again ever, it just means I’m done with a dance commitment, I’m not longer training and competing as a full time sport. In a few months or so, after some lifestyle changes, whenever my health starts improving, I hope to take master classes and do some improv here and there, only for fun where I can set limitations as to how rigorously & routinely I have to dance so I don’t pose a threat to further injury. I don’t think I could survive not dancing at all, but for now, a break for recovery is much needed. When I grow too old to dream, dance will live in my heart.
“Let them praise his name with dancing,” -Psalm 149:3