I didn't start dancing until I was in college. I didn't even know modern dance existed until that point. And I had grown up in an affluent community only 20 miles north of NYC! I had been to the ballet, but had zero attraction to this form of dance. It wasn't until I saw the movie "Fame," and realized that dance meant more than toe shoes or tap shoes that I was bitten by the bug.
In two short years, I went from a total beginner to a paid performer in a company. How? Nothing but hard work and unswerving commitment and luck. Believe me, it was not natural talent or any type of God-given gift. I dove into dance like a shark and hung on ferociously. Luckily, the director of the company I danced with believed in me. She saw something in me early on, before I was fully formed, before I was able to find much confidence in myself. I was very lucky. My work in that company shaped me in so many ways.
And I wasn't just lucky to meet my director. I was lucky to discover something I could be so passionate about. Something I could commit myself to with complete abandon. I've never wanted anything as much I wanted to become a dancer.
And in my thirty-something years of dancing, I have taken class with, performed alongside, and taught people of all ages, both genders, and a wide range of physical abilities, including kids with Down syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, and autism. In every situation, I've found that dance creates joy. Sometimes other emotions, too. But almost everyone who attempts to dance finds joy.
Moving the body to music is something so natural, so inherently human, that we cannot even help ourselves. Humans need to dance.
So if you are one of those people who think you have two left feet, get up anyway. Put on some music. One thing I learned from my modern dance days is that you can dance to ANY kind of music. So find the music that moves YOU. Then move the furniture. Make some space. Or go out on the lawn. Or go to a club. Call up a friend. And dance. Dance like someone's shooting bullets at your feet. Dance like you've got ants in your pants. Dance like nobody's watching. Just dance.