I Hope You Dance

Tis’ the season for Dance Recitals!

I have loved seeing all the pictures on Facebook and Instagram these last few weeks as Dance Recitals are in full swing! There is nothing like being a parent, sitting in the audience and watching your child on stage dancing their heart out. No matter how many times I have watched my daughter dance I still get the excitement and butterflies in my stomach when she is on stage. I have a soft spot for dancers. It’s one of those activities I know can have an impact on a child’s life and how they carry themselves with confidence and poise.

On May 23, 2000 one of my favorite songs was released – “I Hope You Dance” by LeeAnn Womack. In case you can’t place it here just a few of my favorite lyrics:

I hope you never fear those mountains in the distance,
Never settle for the path of least resistance
Livin’ might mean takin’ chances but they’re worth takin’,
Lovin’ might be a mistake but it’s worth makin’,
Don’t let some hell bent heart leave you bitter,
When you come close to sellin’ out reconsider,
Give the heavens above more than just a passing glance,
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance.

I hope you dance….I hope you dance.

Exactly one year to the day this song was released, I gave birth to my first child. It was a baby girl. I could hardly contain my excitement thinking of all the things I hoped she would do and become someday. One of those things I hoped for is that she would dance. Not that I wanted or expected her to be a great dancer but just that she would have the confidence to be on stage, and do her best with a smile on her face. Dancers don’t sit back and watch things happen – they “dance”.

I took dance classes when I was a little girl. I wasn’t a great dancer but I know that exposure at an early age gave me something that could never be replaced. It gave me the ability to stand up in front of others, to not be shy and to not be afraid to take a risk. I believe the experience of being on stage is what has allowed me to never fear speaking in public or getting up in front of a large crowd. You also won’t ever see me sitting on the sidelines at a wedding, party or anywhere there is music…you will find me on the dance floor. It may not be pretty, but I’m out there!

I have spent the last 2 years photographing the most amazing group of dancers from The Conservatory of Dance in Wilton, Connecticut. The more time I spend getting to know these girls and boys I see so much in them that I know is shaping them into fine young women and young men. Years from now, no matter which course they take in life I know the time they have spent  learning to dance, being on stage and gaining confidence in themselves will take them far in whatever they do.

I am excited to share with you some of the girls and boys I have photographed who have all chosen to “dance”. I wish them all the best and look forward to watching them dance through life!

What about you?
Do you “Dance”?