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My heart is fit for dancing

Lusiana

Many of the people who have known me for a really long time have asked if I would make the same choices as my mother and sign my hypothetical daughters up for dance classes. I am not sure. The big difference between my mother and me is that she had never been in a dance studio before, while I have and I know what studying dance and not having a future in it could mean for a young girl or boy.

I have danced for a little more than 10 years, not starting incredibly young but enough to fall in love with the feeling and the dream. Why haven't I kept on doing it? For the most of obvious of the reasons: I wasn't bodily and mentally fit. And one episode has actually showed me that I wasn't ready to bend to some behaviors, ruining my health further than I already had.

I was a little younger than 18 when my really young dance teacher brought some copied sheets and gave them to all the dancers in the room, there were girls from 10 to 19 there in that moment. It was a list of suggestions to lose weight: from chewing a gum every time you felt the need to eat to avoiding carbohydrates completely, no pasta, no bread, no potatoes. I looked at her while she explained it to those young girls who wanted nothing more than looking like their beautiful teacher, I don't even remember what she said. I went back home, informed my mother that I was not gonna join the final show that year and I never set foot in a dance studio ever since.

What I remember of those years is that long mirror on the wall. I danced, imagined myself following the music smoothly and then, when the music was gone, I would see a fat and inelegant girl with thick glasses staring back at me from that mirror. I wasn't fat, I was actually a graceful curvy teenager but I know that only now, looking back at my pictures. At the time, well, I would basically starve myself till losing consciousness at school and had people force food down my throat. Many of the people who know me actually have never aknowledged it.

It has been lately that a friend of mine has found a recording from my 18th Birthday party, she called me and said "I have found this video, you looked so beautiful but, please, don't ever do that to yourself again". I thanked her, truly.

Talking about it now has definitely another vibe. At the time, all I could see were extremely thin girls who got the parts because they looked so "graceful and beautiful" while dancing. I remember those teachers looking at me like I was the ugliest thing they had ever seen. Now I laugh about it, you know? The blindness behind those looks... How can you see beauty as a bodily type? How can a person who loves music and dance so much not see the heart behind it? The passion?

I haven't stopped dancing, I just do it in places where I am not judged for the glamour. I do it for fun, I do it for love. And when there happens to be a mirror, the woman staring at me is usually smiling.

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