Over the past couple of days, I’ve had some Facebook memories popping up on my feed. I had been posting status updates when I participated my first ballroom showcase 13 years ago. I performed not as a student, but as an instructor.
I started teaching ballroom dance very early in my journey. I was new to ballroom dancing styles, but had previous dance experiences, so I picked up the steps quickly. This also meant I picked up a fair amount of imposter syndrome as I skipped over some of the expected milestones of a ballroom dance journey.
I paid for a package of introductory lessons, and then became a full-time teaching intern. During the day, I watched hours of bronze video lessons in our studio’s teacher dressing room, and practiced the steps with my teacher. In the evenings, I taught private lessons and group lessons to students.
Eventually, limited funds, along with the desire to go to college influenced me not to commit to teaching dance as a career. I still went to classes when I could afford it, but I was not as focused on having dance be so much of my identity as it had been before. When I came back to formal dance training, I had plans to make up-for the out-of-order experiences, but my showcase performance as a student was cancelled this year.
It is odd to so constantly feel as though I am just starting my ballroom dance journey, even though it seems I’ve been at it for so long. Sometimes it feels like we need to know every little detail to be good at teaching, but after going through many more non-dance teaching experiences during my Master’s program, I learned that is not the case. It is a perpetual journey of learning and teaching that helps us all reach our goals.
I am learning to remind myself that even without the showcases and competitions, I have experiences enough to teach in the ballroom world when I do decide to get back to it. And there also is always more to learn.