This language of dance

My breath: ragged. Heart beating quickly. Navigating a new city is a question mark. I try to plan ahead: which lanes turn into right turn only lanes? I ask. My love writes out the route on a piece of lined paper.  As I drive, I realize I can only anticipate so much.

Despite my thoughts, in the midst of my nervous system crying out at the newness of it all, I get there. From the outside, it might even have looked relatively smooth.

I take a deep breath and walk across the parking lot, up the stairs, and I open the door to the yoga studio where the Nia class is held. Breathe. Open. Introduce myself, allow it just to be a simple greeting, allow myself to answer the teacher’s questions.

When I step in, I still feel my system on alert. In time, as I dance, I find my feet and calm my thoughts. I remind myself that while I may have a a future in this city that involves teaching Nia, in this moment, I am mostly here as a student and dancer. I am here with my feet on the ground, and I want to allow myself to be. And in time, I do: finding the rhythm, the movement, my voice.

It’s like finding a piece of home in this city, where the familiar steps of Nia bring me back to myself. I know, even if I feel anxious about putting myself out there, that there is a community waiting for me in the people who speak this language of movement, this language of dance.


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