General Dance Discussion > Anyone ever taken a break from dance?

Discussion in 'General Dance Discussion' started by sbrnsmith, Sep 24, 2013.

  1. sbrnsmith

    sbrnsmith Well-Known Member

    I am very fortunate that in the last 3 years I started dancing, I have been able to continue my lessons, and attend comps consistently. Inspite of work schedule and commuting to lessons, its worked out so far and I hope it continues. If for some reason, I had to take a break from dance, I don't know how I would survive. I hope no one has to deal with it. Yet all kinds of things- time, finances, jobs, other obligations, in other words, life happens and we may be faced with a choice. How many here have had to give up dance and for how long? Did you go back? How did it feel to go back? How do we find ways to keep dancing?
    chomsky likes this.
  2. Spartacus

    Spartacus New Member

    What a fortuitous thread! I had to stop lurking and bring back my old account to post.

    Nearly one year ago, after about 6-7 years of competitive dancing, I took a break. My partner (also my SO) and I had been been very serious, basically competing and dancing full time after college and before she continued with school. We had finished the dense part of the season with nationals and were back doing less comp prep and more exploration of the horizons, which was wonderful. My mother had gone into the doctor because she was feeling dizzy, and after a long time of her doctor believing it was vertigo, an MRI was performed, and they discovered metastases. My father called me on Halloween night, and that night I drove home 9 hours to be with them. Long story short, it was stage IV lung cancer. I stayed to help take care of her and my family, and my SO quickly moved down to do the same.

    My mom eventually passed away in April, but my SO and I stayed near the area to be near both my family and hers. Even after we found an apartment and work, it was hard to find time to dance. She was busy applying to Medical school, and we were both busy trying to keep our families close.

    Happily, just last week we did resume dancing. I think in total it was about 11 months away. While my mom was sick, I did miss it, but not nearly as much as I thought I would. I did however, avoid this forum, YouTube, and basically any viewing or interaction with the dance community, because then I REALLY, REALLY missed it. I think we both ended up afraid to go back, as previous to all of this were really excited to be breaking new ground in our dancing, and were both afraid of what we were coming back to. We eventually got over it, and at least for my part, it was amazing to come back. For me, there really isn't a replacement for dance, and I was amazed at what my body and mind remembered. It was also interesting to see that my time away had also changed my perspective and interaction with dance, and what feelings were there to be expressed.

    Sometimes we are forced to make a choice, and often that choice is hard. Mine, I think, was pretty easy. Sometimes we just can't prioritize dance, no matter how much we love it. However, I do think that the important part of the journey is be willing to come back when and if you want to ( and can), and not being afraid of the dancing beast.

    P.S. Thank you sbrnsmith for your post, it was great to express this, so my apologies if it doesn't help you in your question.
    KPomPom, chomsky, Angel HI and 8 others like this.
  3. GGinrhinestones

    GGinrhinestones Well-Known Member

    Welcome back, Spartacus - and thank you for sharing your story and your journey.

    So very well said!
    chomsky likes this.
  4. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    normally, this is where I would point out that we have many threads on this and that it is always best to do a search before starting a new thread...that being said, I am so glad that it sparked this valuable post from deepest condolences on the loss of your Mom...certainly something that heart-wrenching can put the dance journey in perspective...while my own dancing is what kept me from falling entirely apart when my mom was terminal, I can also now see how it might have been just as grace-filled to have set it aside during that time...and I wish you the most wonderful new chapter in your dance life
    ocean-daughter, chomsky and Angel HI like this.
  5. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    on the larger topic...I think that not being able to imagine a break is precisely why one one needs to be able to work on imagining being able to take a break...because nothing should have that much power
    chomsky, jiwinco and Angel HI like this.
  6. sbrnsmith

    sbrnsmith Well-Known Member

    Yes, thank you for sharing. So happy for you that you found a way back to dance
    chomsky likes this.
  7. sbrnsmith

    sbrnsmith Well-Known Member

    And yet it does... Ongoing struggle for me... No answers yet
  8. opendoor

    opendoor Well-Known Member

    Hi sbrn, I´ve been a social dancer and dance teacer till the cruciate ligament in my left knee tore. I haven´t been on the dance floor for 2 years. That really was a heavy caesura. Dancing used to be hobby, sublementary job, fitness studio, entertainment, misson, intercultural exchange, tourist office, dating agency, source of appreciation. With other words the center of my former life. I tried to keep contact to the community by djaying and organizing socials, writing articles. But that really is stale if your´re a dancer. Now I´m playing in a band and started learning a new instrument.
    chomsky likes this.
  9. Dots

    Dots Active Member

    Well, to answer the original post:

    I have been away for several months now. During that time, I went back to the studio only once to say “hi” and deliver letters and such. Afterwards, I was surprised by my own reaction; I did not want to go back.

    The studio was my “scene” where I hung up 4 or 5 days of the week, but knowing that it “can’t” be my scene anymore makes visits… heart wrenching. I see bright hopeful gazes from those who remember me and I know that the cries of “welcome back!” followed by “hey, are you coming back now?” are meant in good spirit. I just hate the feeling of wanting to come back and yet shaking my head and seeing the disappointment in the eyes of friends and former teachers alike.

    I’m not bitter about it (I think my life is an overall happy one) and I still find occasions to dance socially, but in my case, making a complete cut from my former studio was the only way for me not to feel nostalgia on a daily basis. Um… guess I feel nostalgic now though… darn :p
    chomsky likes this.
  10. Hedwaite

    Hedwaite Well-Known Member

    I'm definitely feeling the "you can't go home again" vibe in my own- not that it was ever actually 'home sweet home' in the sense of a really close, tight comraderie between people- there's a group of older individuals who have been veterans of the studio for some time, a 'nouveau chic' group who keeps to themselves, and then ourselves and our students and friends, and the groups don't usually mix.

    I've been on a "break" from my own enjoyment of dancing for a few years now. I took a full break after a competition, thought I'd "come back to it", but it wasn't really the same. A couple other roadblocks happened, but I still dance many times a week in another capacity. Long story short, some things in my partnership's dancing changed pretty drastically, and I just haven't "felt it" for at least four years now. There are things that come and go that motivate me, but I feel that post-event letdown each time they're done. The things that bother me don't faze my partner in the least, so I just try to keep quiet about it as much as I can (given my temperament, this has been only nominally successful, but I'm still trying) and hang on to the things about it that I enjoy.

    I wouldn't quit dancing, but I'm glad I've changed focus to something else now that keeps me at it in a different direction. I'm feeling very blah about home-turf affairs, but I guess you can say that now, "I'm just in it for the kids" in a manner of speaking.

    So- if you have to take a break, take a break. Don't let dancing become something to which you're chained, or you'll resent it. Do what you have to do, then come back to it again. If you have to, forget the past, and pretend you're brand new again. Might be refreshing.
  11. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    my prime promise to myself, because I love to dance, is that if any aspect of my dance life begins to threaten that, then THAT is the thing that has to go....not the has taken me a long time to learn how to discern that...but time has made it one aspect of my dance situation will have power over my continuing to dance
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2013
    sbrnsmith and debmc like this.
  12. CCdance

    CCdance Active Member

    Other than physical injuries, I wouldn't take any break longer than 2 weeks from dancing, I've made a promise to myself, dance is part of my life, so as long as I'm breathing, even though my bones might start cracking when I get older I won't stop dancing, of course, moderation will be required along with aging, may not be able to compete later on, but that dance floor is not going anywhere lol
  13. Dancing Irishman

    Dancing Irishman Well-Known Member

    I took a break from partner dancing from May to around September this past year in the aftermath of the breakup of my engagement to my competitive dance was a big part of our relationship and it forced me to discover what I cared about *for me*, and I didn't initially love the process of getting back into it (the partner search was especially tough). I've really made incredible strides, both in my dancing and in my personal maturity, and I couldn't be happier with how it's worked out for me. Truly has been a blessing in disguise in so many ways...

    I similarly took a break from ballet the past couple months, and going back has really lit a fire within me to come at it from a completely new perspective...I actually think breaks might be incredibly valuable for my dancing development.
  14. Loki

    Loki Well-Known Member

    I firmly believe that breaks from everything are necessary from time to time, not just dancing. IMO those neurons need an opportunity to get some new wiring routed and that can help one stay sharp in all areas. The neuropsychologists might disagree, I suppose...
    j_alexandra and fascination like this.
  15. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    depends upon how long the break is.....welcome to df
  16. danceronice

    danceronice Well-Known Member

    And how old she is. And what level/sort of dancing it was.
  17. Angel HI

    Angel HI Well-Known Member

    Welcome back, Spartacus.

    Welcome to the DF, Impact.
    chomsky likes this.
  18. Hedwaite

    Hedwaite Well-Known Member

    It's time for a dance-break for me. Not a long one. One weekend getaway where the focus is on getting away, not going to more dancing. Just a soft reset, instead of a total wipe.
  19. Hedwaite

    Hedwaite Well-Known Member

    So you're saying your daughter took a dance break at nine, or...?
  20. Kelly Long

    Kelly Long Member

    I took a 6 year break while I was in the Army. I ended up spending a total of 4 years deployed to Iraq over 6 years and a tour as a civilian as well. At that time, taking a break was natural because I was concerned with not dying! Haha. But now I have come back to dancing as of this January. I told myself I just wanted to take a few lessons a week and enjoy dancing, but that didn't last very long. I became quickly re-obsessed with it and did my comeback competition in June. It was euphoric for me!

    I am now being forced to take another break....certainly not by choice. I have been a government contractor at one of the special operations commands and now they lost the funding for my position with the contract renewal, so I abruptly found myself laid off as a huge shock and surprise last week. I felt like my world was ending. I know you guys here can understand it....honestly it's still fresh so I am trying to work through the emotions of it, but I can't afford even to take group classes right now. I know I will find a job at some point and will be dancing again, so I make it a point to practice every day by myself. It's all I can do! Tough times come to all of us, and we have to keep pushing forward.

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