Why Dance Matters is a Dance Advantage initiative that started in 2010. Leveraging short-form social media messages and the hashtag #whydancematters we rally dancers online to affirm the impact dance has on the lives of individuals and communities. It’s really a task we take on year-round via Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest, though organized “virtual” events have been fun and effective over the last few years.
This year, two event days have been selected to stir up a flurry of testimony about why dance matters. The first date coincides with the anniversary of Dance Advantage – the 1st of April. We think it will be a fun way to commemorate a day of the year that is already special for us. Then, we’ll do it again on the 1st of August as dance schools and companies begin to gear up for their respective seasons. It’s a one-two punch of #whydancematters!
The above text comes straight from the Why Dance Matters website. As the Tipsy Dancer, I will be doing my part and tell you all why dance matters to me.
I began dancing when I was 4, so that’s what 22 years that I’ve been dancing. But I owe my life to dance. I learned from a young age how important body image is. More specifically, how important it is to not give a damn about other people’s opinion about your body. Yes, I’m about to open up a bit.
I remember being about 8 and, like every active 8-year-old (I was a swimmer, too), I had muscle and needed to eat a bit more due to my activity level. I was also incredibly picky which meant that I was pudgy on top of the muscle… by 10, my dance teacher advised that I be put on a diet. I can’t remember what I weighed, but A.) 10-year-olds shouldn’t be put on a diet and B.) no one should advise someone else’s child to be put on a diet… Thankfully my mother had the sense to ignore her.
Back to the positives. Dance taught me how to love myself and be comfortable in my own body. Yes, my teacher was shitty but dance helped me be more confident in myself. I’ve learned to channel my insecurities into my dance and express myself without lashing out at anyone or anything.
Dance means so much to me. I could literally ramble on forever about how much dance means to me. It’s helped me the most with my body image and confidence. In August, I’ll do a part 2 to elaborate further.