Giving up a dream isn't easy. But sometimes, it's for the best. I wanted to be a dancer, and failed. Thankfully.
Aspiring to become a prima ballerina was my deepest desire between the ages of 8-15. Each week my friends and I would attend several ballet classes together. The run-down studio was on the second floor in downtown Wilkes-Barre, PA, and I imagined it was something like a NYC ballet studio. It was magical to me. Our friend ritual on Saturdays was especially fun: take the public bus to class, slice of pizza, pinball, shop, and back home.
Ballet was both an exciting and scary part of my life in the 70s. Our teacher was a strict Polish woman in her 30s who had been a professional ballerina. Miss J wore black leotards, black skirt, black eyeliner that rivaled rock stars, and smoked a cigarette throughout class. Miss J yelled -- a lot. If she yelled at you, it was a sign she took interest. I don't recall getting yelled at a lot. I was usually one of the corps de ballet in The Nutcracker and Swan Lake, not a soloist.
Tragedy came when I didn't pass auditions for the new ballet company. Every one of my friends did. I was humiliated and broken-hearted, but I picked myself up and vowed to "make it next year."
Next year arrived and I failed again. One of the judges from NYC told my mom that I "might not be cut out to be a dancer." I was devastated and hated her for saying that at the time. Was I really that bad? I didn't know, so I kept dancing, getting a few lead roles in the children's ballet performances. However, the previous audition failures and more pass-overs to come were too much for me as a freshman in high school. I gave up my dream at age 15 and didn't watch a ballet performance for several years.
Fast-forward to 2005 when I was diagnosed with excruciating pain that turned out to be Rheumatoid Arthritis. I panicked as I felt I was once again losing my "ability to move." However, a gift came with the illness.
I discovered an amazing healing dance practice called Nia. I found my dream again to dance in my own way, no matter my body shape or dance ability. A breakthrough! I immediately took training on how to teach Nia so I could help others in pain or those who felt they couldn't dance.
I am so thankful for the experience of what I thought was losing my dream. I might not have reconnected to dance that provides me immense Joy and Healing. Now I get to guide and teach people how to condition their bodies and express their spirits through dance. I have witnessed and heard many stories about life changing experiences from the practice of Nia and other conscious dances. It works. I personally transformed through movement and now it's my turn to share it with you in a bigger way.
What dreams have you given up? Can you reconnect with them in a different way?
I'm Teresa D'Angelo, and I invite you to Live, Love, and Move your life through a program of classes, workshops and coaching that is fun and expressive. This clip tells the story of why I love what I do . . . with a huge thank you to everyone involved in shooting this video, and the amazing people who continue to dance our journeys together.