I just got back from a day of snowboarding, and I'm sore, tired - no, make that exhausted - and just want to sleep. I'd love to have a nice relaxing Sunday, like normal people, where I could sleep in, run some errands, and just rest and prepare for the work week ahead. But I haven't had a normal Sunday in years! I teach bellydance class Sunday mornings and Sunday evenings, making Sundays possibly the busiest day of the week for me (because I do still need to do those errands, too!)
So, why do I do it? That's a question I often ask myself, as my normal 9 to 5 friends come home from their jobs and actually get to relax (as opposed to running out to teach a bellydance class, or changing into costume and running out to a performance). And it's a question I've been asking myself about quite a bit lately, since our Second Annual Student Showcase is coming up in a few weeks, meaning that classes are stretching into their second hours and extra practices are scheduled daily (more about the show another day!).
I've come back to the same answer to this question time and again - without bellydance, I would not be complete. I've been dancing my whole life; since I put my first pair of tap shoes on at the age of two and a half, I've done everything from tap, jazz, lyrical, ballet, modern and hip hop. I've never felt the euphoria with any of those dance styles, that I do with bellydance. A friend asked me a while ago if there was anything in this world I was passionate about, and I told him bellydance. I told him that, when I'm performing bellydance, I don't need to fake a smile. I don't need to pretend I'm enjoying myself for the sake of putting on a good show, for the sake of entertaining the audience. I AM enjoying myself. I am smiling for ME, not for the crowd. Heck, I smile when I'm dancing in my kitchen with no one but my cats to see me. I can't help it - it just comes out. I'm happy when I dance.
So, why do I do it? Why do I put a normal life on hold, in exchange for one with late nights and early mornings, back aches and blisters? Because I LOVE this dance, and without it, my life wouldn't be normal.
What about you? Why do you do it?