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Do you remember being a young girl or boy and thinking about what you would be when you grew up?
The dance seemed like an obvious choice for me. All of my friends were headed to dance class, I had been dancing since I was three years old, and it just seemed so natural. But then life happened.
I realized that as much as I loved to dance, there were other things in the world that I could do too (like math!). So instead of becoming a dancer, here’s what did:
I became a software engineer with expertise in natural language processing
I started my own business as an online marketing expert and copywriter for small businesses
Ultimately, I found myself traveling the world (and living abroad) to teach English to students from diverse backgrounds.
This story is not meant to discourage anyone who wants to be a dancer if it’s what you love then DO IT!
You’ll never know unless you try! But just so there are no regrets later on, here are some things that helped me make this decision:
If I had been dancing professionally already when these thoughts came up, would I have continued? If so, does that mean being okay with my life trajectory was predestined by circumstance?
I’ve always loved dance
In fact, one of my earliest memories is dancing with my mother as a four-year old girl. She taught me how to dip and twirl in the living room while wearing her high heels too big for me which I so desperately wanted but couldn’t wait any longer for Mother’s Day or Christmas to come around again so she would buy them from Sears catalog.
And since then, it has lived on in every aspect of my life: learning jazz hands at age six,taking ballet lessons before middle school; performing during recitals and summer camps; creating choreography throughout college that was inspired by literature; even teaching beginner classes after graduation. But despite all these obsessions,I always loved to dance. My parents would watch me in the living room and I didn’t think anything of it, until they started asking me if I wanted to take classes with them at a nearby studio.
No, I replied coolly, “It’s just something that seems fun.” They pleaded for weeks before finally giving up on the idea and buying me a guitar instead (a great choice). The music from my lessons quickly became background noise as I pushed myself into classical piano and math competitions, but every now and then when we’d plan a family game night or go out dancing together, without thinking about it too hard, there was my body moving gracefully across the living room floor again.