Things changed pretty abruptly when my parents divorced when I was 12. We moved to another state and began going to a public school for the first time. Up to this point, we were either homeschooled or in a private school and were pretty sheltered from the world around us. To say the least, we were quite culture shocked and I had a hard time navigating through all the changes going on around me. My mom started teaching ballroom dance and for whatever reason, we did not return to dance classes. We danced with my mom as she practiced her new style of dance and we learned a lot from her in our home and I used to dream of competing and dancing professionally in the Ballroom dance world.
Somewhere along the way, I began to get very lost. I never felt that I fit in at any school I went to, and we moved around… a lot. I always felt like as soon as I began to get comfortable somewhere, we’d pick up and move again or we would flip flop back and forth between my mom and dad. My dad had moved to be closer to us after deciding living states away was much too difficult. Thankfully I always had my twin sister alongside me during the many changes in schools, but we eventually began to grow apart in our efforts to find our own identities. I began seeking out other “outsiders” and started using drugs and alcohol at a very young age. I thought I had found a solution to my feelings of being “different” and that I finally fit in somewhere. More time passed between me and dancing. My longing to dance again began to fade away and although I still described myself as a “dancer”, I had no credentials to speak of anymore ,and it was just some distant dream.
My journey to where I am at today was long and painful. I struggled to find myself again but I was looking in all the wrong places. My spirit was dying and I did not know how to breathe life back into it. Eventually, through some power not my own, I became ready and willing to do something different. Once I made that decision there was no turning back. As I began to find myself again, I had this knowing that one day, I didn’t know how, where, or when, I would dance again. About a year ago a dear friend called me and asked if I wanted to go to a belly dance class with her. Just the thought of going to a dance class, any kind of dance class, was so exciting and I was all in! I went to my first Moon Belly class and to a performance at the Bridge that weekend, and was hooked immediately. I was mesmerized by the dancers and I thought that could be me someday! Finding myself on a dance floor again has revived my spirit in so many ways. I have come to love Moon Belly and what it represents to me: That embracing and loving yourself as you are, your perfect imperfections and all, is what being a woman is about. Dancing at Moon Belly with these amazing women, I have found someone who is strong, confident, and beautiful and that someone is me!