The Busy Giffs: Walking Away From Dance

October 23, 2018

Walking Away From Dance

Tonight, Emmalee made a much more grown up decision than I ever expected and she is taking a break from dance.  Wrapping my head around her decision has been hard for me.  She loves dance and her friends.  She spends every waking second dancing or tumbling and is always talking about her dance friends, so it's been an adjustment for me. 

Over the summer a few of her friends left the dance team and we wavered on whether or not we would go back in the Fall.  Emmalee, being the smart girl she is, reasoned that friends can always be friends no matter where they are, but a dance teacher can only be a dance teacher if she's at that studio so we returned. Everything seemed fine.

But then she started asking if we could "stay home" instead of going to class.  The only class she was really excited for was her acro class. She would whine about going to the fundraising we do for Nationals. But at dance, she would smile and laugh and dance her heart out.

It wasn't until we were talking about our weekend having 3 dance commitments that she broke.  She cried.  She asked if we could skip it all and just stay home and relax and that's when I knew something was wrong.  She even asked if I'd be mad if she stopped dancing. It was time to walk away.  She, without me realizing it, had spent 2 months trying to love it, to make me happy.  She told me that she smiled and laughed at dance because she didn't want her dance teacher to know that she didn't love it.  At 7 years old, she was going out of her way unhappily to make sure the grown ups in her life were happy. 

What a learning experience.  At only 7 years old, we talked about the importance of having a healthy and happy heart and that sometimes we have to make decisions that make other people sad to keep our own hearts healthy. At only 7 years old, she is understanding that you can't sacrifice your happiness for others. And it makes me cry just thinking about it. 
While I am so sad that she doesn't find joy in dancing the way it lit her heart before, I am so proud of her for recognizing and respecting the feelings inside of herself. 

Watching her hug her dance friends and say good bye was absolutely heart wrenching (I'm legit in tears just thinking about it now), and as we pulled away from the studio with both of us in tears, I asked "Are you sure you made the right choice?" she looked at me and said "Yes, I love my friends even though I don't love dancing anymore and they will always be my friends even if I am not on their team. I'm just sad I made them sad."

I spent a lot of my life worried about making sure everyone else was happy and at times in my life it was at the expense of my own feelings. I am sad right now, but so proud of my girl and so excited about who she will continue to grow into.  And who knows? Maybe a break will help her find the love again... or maybe it will allow her to find something new that makes her heart happy. 




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