The memories I have of the times I could dance are nothing short of beautiful. Dance was something that filled me with pure ecstasy each and every single time performed, taught or just danced for myself. I used to sprain my ankles very often and required rest but I couldn’t resist dancing even during those times.
When life started looking different and I had to spend more and more time in bed, letting go of my passion for dance was one of the many painful decision I had to take. It used to hurt me each time I saw that those around me were able to dance and I couldn’t. It used to kill me each time I looked at old photographs and videos of myself dancing and I’d think to myself that life was becoming pointless – how is it that everything you love so deeply is harmful for you and your body in some way or the other? I’d wonder.
Then there came a point when I literally deprived myself of anything related to dance. No more old videos. No more old photographs. No more watching anyone else dance. No more listening to happy bollywood songs which drove me mad. No more talking about dance because each time I did, I’d have tears in my eyes. I thought I was helping myself get over my passion for dance by trying to forget everything related to it in my past. Which meant forgetting a BIG PART of my past and that was ridiculous.
Over last year or so, things started looking different. It was the year when I allowed myself to feel pain. I had to let myself grieve over what is no longer mine and what I had to leave behind, along with an older version of myself. Letting go wasn’t easy, because it wasn’t only dance I had to let go of. There was a list of all things that I loved and wanted and couldn’t have that I had to come to terms with. Till this point in time, I hadn’t let myself grieve that old version of me. The one I was so familiar with. I was only holding on. Not moving on. Soon, I began to ease into not being able to do certain things because I realized something very important – I started choosing health over everything else, and that is what made me come to terms with my present self. I don’t regret that I left dance but I know dance hasn’t left me. Dance will always be a part of me.
Though this process has been extremely uncomfortable, it has been absolutely worth it because I no longer look back at my photos and feel like shit. It doesn’t bring me to tears. When your story doesn’t make you cry, you know you have healed. Watching others dance doesn’t make me feel bad that I can’t. Instead, looking at people dance out of happiness and passion makes me insanely happy. And you know what? It makes me want to dance again sometimes. I can’t compare it to how things were and I won’t try because I understand the change my body has had to go through. I do what I can do and even that brings a smile on my face – even if it means just to dress up, blast music, move just a little bit and imagine as if I can dance like before. Dance involves both movement and expressions and even if EDS has taken away a decent amount of freedom of movement from me, it most definitely hasn’t taken away my ability to express/give expressions, or imagine and choreograph steps in my mind.
It’s true – once a dancer, always a dancer.
Today was one of those days when I let myself dance a little bit. Just a little bit. I was careful not to over do anything and it really required me to be aware and present. I think it’s okay to do what your soul craves sometimes as long as you have your next physiotherapy session booked. I do.