I believe that we can learn a lot from our 5-year-old selves. Children keep things simple – they have big dreams without worrying about them being too difficult to achieve, they live in the moment and don’t get hung up on the past or the future and they’re honest about how they feel about people. In short, little homies keep it real, yo.
When I was 5 I wanted to grow up to be a ballerina. I was in a ballet class where I got to dance around to music, have fun with friends, wear pretty pink shoes and even put on a show at the end of the year. I was a shy and quiet child, but dancing brought something else out of me. I even enjoyed being on stage. My mother keeps a framed photo of me dressed in my green dance costume, right before a performance. I look like a total dork, but that picture brings back memories of how excited I was that day.
20 years later, I discovered swing dancing, which brought back the same kind of childlike joy I felt in that tutu. I love love love everything about this dance – it’s a social dance, so you get to interact with new people all the time, it’s danced to the kind of music I grew up listening to (thanks, dad!), it’s a creative outlet, there’s always something to learn and ways to improve… I could go on and on, but most of all it just makes me happy. Nowadays I dance and teach Lindy Hop regularly and it’s become an inseparable part of my life.
Unfortunately for my bank account, this activity grants me a valid excuse to shop for shoes. When in a dance shoe store some time back, I was drawn to a pair of pink Greek dance sandals. They weren’t the type of shoes I came looking for, so I left them in the display window. A few days passed and I still had them on my mind, like a puppy you see at a pet store. I had to go back and take them home with me. I mean, what kind of girl says no to pink shoes?
While they might not always be the ideal support for my hopping feet, they help me keep sight of why I put so much time and effort into Lindy Hop. I wear them for my 5-year-old self who dances because it’s what makes her smile.
What did you want to grow up to be when you were 5? Can you find any relation to that in your life today? I’d love to hear your thoughts!