By Lonestar Dance Center instructor Raymond White.
I’m sure everyone in the dance community knows just how rewarding the self-confidence from being a dancer can be. However, I’m not sure everyone understands how contagious it can be at the same time. Sure, from dancer to dancer we build each other up, but we spread our confidence to everyone around us. As an athlete and a dancer, I have had plenty of opportunities to have the attention on many people. It doesn’t matter if it’s dancing for one friend or performing for a packed auditorium.
My last gymnastics competition of my career was April of 2014, and I had my controversial floor routine left to do. Controversial because I wasn’t just tumbling like a robot the whole time but I also added dance elements to my routine, which was unheard of in the Men’s gymnastics world. I had a few leaps, a turn or two, and a battement, all with little acro twists here and there. Because of this my floor routines had always been received in very mixed ways by the judges, but I didn’t care. I was there to perform and I had confidence and love for what I did. Sadly, I missed the qualifying score for finals by half of a point, but something far more amazing happened after I left the floor. A group of 25 to 30 people walked up to me in the lobby, all varying in age, and many of them were crying. They stopped me and told me how moved they were by my routine and how some of them (ex-gymnasts) wish that they had had the confidence when they were younger to pull off a routine like mine. They were all inspired, and inspiration is just the seed of confidence.
We, the dance community, are a disease of inspiration, and I hope no one ever tries to find a cure for us. We move people and inspire them to grow just by expressing ourselves and being ourselves. What a special gift to have and share with others!