I did something scary today. I announced that I was taking a break from teaching dance.
This has been a long time coming and I don’t know how long the break is going to be. I still love dancing but I don’t love the work of teaching class every week and doing troupe admin. But that only feels like part of the truth. I imagine this is what it feels like when you’re in a long term relationship with someone you love, but for reasons you can’t fully explain you know that you need to separate so that you can figure out what you really want for yourself.
I’m proud that I’ve always had an open relationship with ATS® – I’m not good at monogamy and it feels so much better to be honest about that. And yes, I’ve been seeing other dance styles, most recently swing and ceroc. But it’s not like I’m in love with any of them the way I am (was?) with ATS®.
That’s one thing that makes this apparent breakup so scary: there’s nothing obvious to fill the void.
A wise friend and fellow dancer told me that when you separate from a partner, there’s a them-shaped hole in your life, and it doesn’t work to fill it with another person, because they won’t fit – they’re a unique puzzle piece. You need to fill the hole yourself, with yourself. And you’ll meet someone or someones else, and they will carve out unique them-shaped spaces to fit into your life. This helped me a lot when I was freshly separated from the ex-love-of-my-life.
I don’t know what’s going to happen. I told my troupemates that I’d love to come to their classes if they were to teach. I would love someone with a true passion for ATS® to keep it going in my area. But right now I think it’s better not to have ATS® classes than to have them taught by someone whose heart isn’t in it.
I just want to dance with my mates. I want to wear a turban and false eyelashes and harquus occasionally. I want to keep getting excited when I see your dance pictures and videos and live performances. I want a reason to raise my arms over my head and smile with joy and gratitude.
After I taught my last class for who knows how long, this song came on and I felt moved to dance to it by myself.
This isn’t goodbye.