By Talitha de Klerk:
At ROHD we love stories of real people, because these stories are what keep us inspired to keep doing what we do. We have discovered there are so many reasons over the world why people dance- worship, celebrating victory, declaring victory, to compete and prove themselves, for exercise and stress release, to feel emotion, to get rid of emotion, to share joy with others and celebrate a union or good fortune, as an initiation ritual, to intimidate and declare war, to break or hinder a war, to tell stories and keep culture alive etc… to name a few… therefore we can’t assume all people dance for the same reasons, and we began to wonder…
WHY DO OUR MEMBERS DANCE?
Interview with: Dancer234
- Why did you begin dancing?
I was 5 when I started ballet and the beauty of dance had already captured my attention. Apparently I would dance on tables from a very young age. I used to go to the library to get ballet books so I could marvel at the dancers.
- Why do you still dance?
I stopped dancing for 17 years. I finally accepted that dance has always been and will always be part of my life. And so I started again. I love the discipline and grace of dance but also the freedom of expression it provides. I love the people I dance with because we share something we can’t share with people who don’t dance. Dance also provides an outlet for the stress in my life. Sometimes I find myself dragging my feet to class, but then I leave refreshed and invigorated. Even on the bad days when nothing in class seems to go right, I come back again to improve myself and to channel my frustrations. Still dancing at my age also helps me to be kinder to myself.
- Do you have an interesting/funny dance story?
During a dance festival when I was about 11, I did a modern dance which included a tailspin. However, the stage was unsanded wood and I ended up with a bottom full of splinters. I think even then we could laugh about it even though it took days to remove all the splinters.
- Do you have a sad dance story?
My dream of becoming a professional dancer was cut short because of a knee injury and various other health issues. I went into a depression and the sight of anyone else dancing would bring me to tears. Only after 16 years was I finally able to start watching dance again and then after another year, to start dancing again. I’m so sad that I lost so many years of dancing. But that also proved to me how passionate I am about dance and how I never want to lose it again, no matter what.
- How does/has dance benefited your life?
Dance gives me the determination I need to improve myself, not only in the studio but in all aspects of life. I also always feel more confident when I dance regularly. The physical benefits of dance are undisputed and it helps my body cope with all of my health issues. Dance also helps my mental faculties: It keeps me sharp and helps my memory.
- If you could replace any normal thing about life with something dance-related, what would it be?
I would love to replace my work with dance. Teaching, training, watching and learning. Instead of learning a new computer program, I’d love to learn Benesh Notation.
- If everyone you knew could dance/ learn to dance, would you want to share your dance experience with them and if so, why?
Yes! Because there is nothing on earth that compares with dance. I feel I have an abundance of knowledge and experience that I’d love to impart to those around me. Not forgetting that I could learn a lot from them too!
Thank you so much for taking the time to share your dance experience with us… we know it will bless many others!
PS. Keep dancing, you need it and this world needs it…