Dancing to the Beat of Her Own Drum: An Interview with Janice
The Dance of Life
“Hey, Janice. Hi, Aleks,” the interview begins, setting the stage for a heartwarming conversation about dance, self-discovery, and personal growth. Janice, a dedicated student at our dance school, shares her journey with an infectious enthusiasm that’s impossible to ignore.
The First Steps
“Why was dance the thing that you wanted to try?” I ask her. Janice’s eyes light up as she delves into her past. “Honestly, it’s because so much of my life, post uni was focusing on my career. I was finally at a place where I realized that I wanted to do something for myself too,” she confesses.
Growing up, dance was a luxury she couldn’t afford. But now, with a stable career, she decided to invest in herself. “Dance was something that as a kid, I never really did because it was so expensive. Now, I want to do this for myself. This is something that I’ve never really had a chance to do. And salsa’s fun. So I decided to try it out.”
Overcoming the Initial Hurdles
Janice admits that her first few experiences with social dancing were nerve-wracking. She often found herself overthinking and reading too much into the reactions of her dance partners. However, she credits the welcoming culture at our dance school for helping her overcome her initial fears.
“I never felt anyone wanted to dance with me. It took a while for me to go out to social. Finally, when I started going, I realized it wasn’t as intimidating, and that everyone was really nice and welcoming,” she shares.
The Turning Point
Janice’s turning point came when she started attending socials. “I think a big part is the people, everyone is very friendly. I’m at a point now where I started asking people to dance if they were sitting on the bench,” she says, her voice filled with pride.
She encourages new dancers to attend socials early in their journey, “If you’re watching this and you haven’t been to a social, then you’re in level two go to a social because it makes a really big difference.”
Embracing the Falls
Janice shares a funny incident from a salsa social in Ottawa, where she accidentally elbowed a dance partner in the face. But instead of letting the embarrassment get to her, she laughed it off and continued dancing.
“I accidentally kinda slightly elbowed him. That’s yeah. It was a little embarrassing, but I just kinda we both kinda just laughed it on, off and carried on. But it was it was it was good. It was a good experience,” she recalls with a chuckle.
The Growth and Confidence
Reflecting on her journey, Janice acknowledges the growth and confidence she has gained through dance. She says, “Every time I’ve taken any dance, it’s been a good confidence boost for me. Not because I feel I look amazing when I’m dancing, but more because I feel now I can go into dance with somebody, even someone that I’ve never danced with before, and be okay to mess up and not do it perfectly.”
The Final Takeaway
Janice’s story is a testament to the transformative power of dance. It’s not just about the steps or the rhythm; it’s about the confidence, the friendships, and the joy that comes from expressing oneself through movement. As Janice puts it, “I think the worst failures are the ones when you fall down at a place with people in a job that you’re not supposed to be at. So make sure you do everything that you love and who cares if you fall down as long as you love it.”
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