My mom enrolled me in ballet when I was around 5 years old. That first class was less of a ballet class than a movement class, but it introduced me to the art of dancing at a very young age. I spent most of my childhood years taking ballet, right up through junior high school. In high school, we had an actual dance program, where I took jazz and modern.
I have pretty much danced all of my life. Even in college, I danced where and when I could. But when I graduated and entered the "real world," I stopped. For going on a decade, the only time I danced was around my little apartment, when no one was looking.
I spent most of my 20's in a state of undiagnosed depression, I am nearly positive. I am not saying it was because I was not dancing - I am sure the reasons are many and frankly I haven't delved too deeply into it.
I started dancing again last year - belly dancing (which I've mentioned several times here now). I had a performance last night. For someone who was on her 2nd belly dance performance ever, I was probably getting a little ahead of myself. You see, it was live music (wonderful live music), almost none of the dancers were familiar with the songs, and none of it was choreographed. We were pushing each other out onto the floor where we all just hoped for the best. Even the seasoned dancers were nervous about this.
At the intermission, some lovely older lady (whom I suspect had snuck some alcohol in) came up to me and said "You're a wonderful dancer. I've been watching belly dancers for 40 years. It's obvious you love to dance. You've got the moves, just get the confidence and you're there." That total stranger gave me one of the best gifts I've received in a very long time.
I love to dance. I'm good at it. I denied myself that pleasure for far too long. I am never turning my back on this gift I have again.