Three cups of hard work, one heaping cup of humility, half a cup of fun, two tablespoons of love, and a teaspoon of passion. From skiing to laying on the couch, we all have our own recipe for happiness. For me, my formula has three heaping spoonfuls of dance. In my lifetime, I have shimmied my way through breakups and poor test scores. Glided my way through success and failure. In the classroom we will all fail. But it is the ability to “dance” through these trials that will separate the good teachers from the great ones. When I say dance, I am not referring to the ballet or formal dance. The dance I believe in is more like flinging your body around the room. For me, dance isn’t about a perfect technique or style of movement. Dance is pure joy in physical form. I dance because I love it.
We all have our own “dance.” It’s a way in which we overcome our deepest hurts or celebrate our happiest moments. For my brother, it is singing. He sings in the shower and he sings in the car. He makes up silly songs for his nieces and he turns to music when he is sad. Whatever form dance takes in your life, it is how we escape from the mundane. The way we choose to do something that has no purpose other than to make us happy, to let us feel something beyond the everyday. We live in a world of deadlines and pressures. Each day, we feel compelled to make our time meaningful; To accomplish something important. I love dance because in the words of Dr. Wayne Dyer, “When you dance, your purpose is not to get to a certain place on the floor. It’s to enjoy each step along the way…” I am learning to be a wife. I am working on my degree, taking 16 credits and working 2 jobs. My life is goal-oriented and purpose-driven but sometimes I just have to dance. It is then that I remember why I work so hard.
Dance reminds me of where I came from. It takes me home to our kitchen when we were doing dishes and my entire family would start dancing, weaving across the kitchen, laughing and spinning and bumping into each other. Dance brought a joy into my home that my whole family could participate in. It transports me to the night I was married and I danced with my husband for the first time. It reminds me of my first prom and sharing one last great memory with my childhood friends. Dance reminds me of who I am. I may be the stressed college student, but I’m also the little girl dancing around her room and dreaming of the life I would create. Dance is an expression of the joy that transcends time and situation. I believe in dance. I believe in finding what makes you happy and doing it just because of the joy you feel. Life is not always about where you are going but the fun you have getting there. We all have our own recipes for happiness. Take the time to figure out yours. As teachers we must all find time to enjoy life and the classroom. This I how I do it. Please share a love for life with your students and your joy will soon become theirs.