After years of thinking I wasn't much of a fan of humanity, stating that people are amazing is quite a leap for me.
I didn't start out cynical, but after years of dealing with crazy PTO parents, overzealous sports fans, horrendous drivers, crappy coaches, etc., I was starting to feel like there was more bad than good out there. I think it's rather easy to get caught up in the negativity and believe that the world is falling apart.
Yesterday I was reminded that people are amazing.
I came home from an experience with my son regarding his desire to dance (If my son wanted to dance, I would kill myself), and didn't know how to process the encounter, so I did what I always do when something bothers me - I wrote about it. The reaction blew me away.
I have four girls that are incredible tomboys. They all started out in dance, but had a difficult time with the femininity that went along with that world. They'd much rather take out a player on the field than perform in a show, so my experience with dance and the arts was extremely limited. I was convinced they were all like what you see on Dance Moms.
I was wrong - the dance community is amazing.
I stayed up until the wee hours of the night reading stories and experiences that caused me to weep both happy and sad tears. So many incredible and intimate stories were shared that I couldn't help but feel hugged by the whole village.
I was sent a private message and with the senders permission, I would like to share a portion of his story here: I was your son. I loved to dance. I loved to sing. I can't remember exactly how young I was when I told my dad that I wanted to dance, but I think I was 7 or 8. One thing I do remember exactly was him completely blowing up and telling me he wasn't going to raise a fairy. My mom was slightly more supportive, if you call not yelling or hitting me supportive. I did all the sports they wanted me to do, but I secretly danced whenever I was alone. This went on for years. I finally worked up the courage in middle school to ask for dance classes again. Unfortunately it was met with disgust.
I wasn't doing well in school so needed to stay after for tutoring. After months of meeting with my teacher, I finally opened up to her and let her know my secret. She was great. I love that woman to this day. She helped me get into a program in high school where they taught dance during the school day. My parents never knew what I was doing.
After I graduated, I chose a school that had a great dance program but told them I was going into accounting. It was all very easy to hide and to this day I'm amazed that my parents really didn't know what I was doing. Fast forward 20 years, and I'm still dancing. The passion never left me no matter how hard my parents tried to squash it. They never really came around, and once I was on my own, I didn't care. I was successful and dancing in a crazy great company, but the problem was no matter how many times I denied it, I really did care.
I wanted their blessing. I longed for my parents to watch me dance, and sadly, they never did. I've danced in front of the most important and famous people in the world, but I would give it all up if my dad could watch me dance. Even just one time. It's the greatest sorrow in my life and hangs over my head like a black cloud. You make sure you stay the #1 fan for your son. I'd trade places with him in a heartbeat.
A sincere thank you to this reader and all of you for making me feel like I'm surrounded by friends. People are amazing.
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