One of the kids I teach came into class late last week. She wasn’t quite herself as she went to put her shoes on and as I normally do I said lightly “how’s it going?”
She avoided eye contact but her eyes were brimming with tears and she just said with her voice breaking “I don’t know I just feel sad today”.
All the other kids were listening and so I just said well let’s get your shoes on and dance it away.
She took a few moments to relax into the class, but then she was asking questions and trying to do the harder versions of the steps and showing me when she could do it.
At the end of the class as she was walking out I asked if she felt any better now and with a big smile she said “a lot better!”
I don’t know what happened that morning – she might have had a fight with her sister, or she might have been upset with herself for being late, or she was simply having a bad day. What I do know was giving her the space to dance and to breathe and to express herself was all she needed to find herself again and turn her day around. I had arrived into class so tired that day and wishing for a moment I was still in bed. I left feeling grateful for the opportunity to share my experience with these wonderful little people, inspired to continue to work hard to better myself as a dancer and a teacher and just simply feeling ALIVE.