When I had my third child at 40, I wrote a list of goals to encourage myself to live outside my comfort zone. More of a bucket list of things I hoped to do to spark joy and live authentically beyond fear. On top of my list in bold font were the words DANCE ON STAGE. While I do have a little background in dancing, like high school drill team, I wasn’t that little girl who took ballet or any form of dance inside a studio while growing up. I was nervous and rusty.
Initially, I feared the enormous gap between teenage dancer me and being a busy mother in her forties. Vulnerability shouted you can’t teach an old dog new tricks and what would my friends or family think? But it’s these words that reassured me to change my mind – Everything you want is on the other side of fear. So rather than avoid the uncomfortable, I dove in and joined a dance group with people of all ages and experience. I’ve learned hip hop, modern, jazz, and even cabaret-like moves using a chair.
Beginning in January of each year, the dance group starts rehearsing for our big summer performance with practices often running late into the evening. It’s extremely tiring, but by this time I’m all in. Every six to eight weeks we memorize a new dance, and end with a full day of tech, which is practicing on a REAL STAGE with hundreds of lighting cues. When the day to perform finally arrives, curtain goes up, and the music comes on, the dancer in me always comes flooding back. In fact, being on stage is the only time I feel 100% present, never perfect, as if I’m dancing like nobody’s watching.
If you’re telling yourself right now, I could never do that or it’s not the right time to begin THAT THING that sparks joy for you, I recommend not waiting. You’re never too old or too anything to try something new.
Author Brené Brown shares, “Vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity and change.” Have courage and go for it.