Throughout my life, I have dabbled in a variety of hobbies and interests: There was choir and softball in elementary school; there was church and photography in early college; and then there was dance. When I started dancing, I fell in love with it immediately and was fully convinced that I would always love dance– that it would always be something I would do in life. As it turns out six years later, I am starting to realize that I may have been wrong: I think I am losing my passion for dance.
I received my first taste of dance when I was eight years old, and I loved it: My mom signed me up for the typical tap/ballet combo that most girls try when they’re little, and I fell in love with the costumes, my new friends, and dance itself. Unfortunately, my tap/ballet career was cut short when my dad pulled me out of dance to play softball. My senior year of high school, however, I received another opportunity to dance by joining one of the pep arts teams; this was the year I realized that I love to perform.
After high school was over, I took another hiatus from dance until 2005 when I was 20 years old: One Tuesday night, I went to a swing dance venue with a friend and fell in love with dance all over again. That night, I discovered that swing dancing, or more specifically, Lindy Hop, was a lot of fun, and I couldn’t wait to go back to that venue and do it again– to learn more and become better at it. Over the years following, I became more and more invested in Lindy Hop: I started traveling to dance events, DJing at venues, performing with a swing dance troupe, competing in competitions, and even teaching. I loved Lindy Hop, and it quickly became my one true passion in life.
By the end of 2009, I could start to feel myself become burnt out on Lindy Hop, and even a little bored with it. However, I still wanted to dance, so I decided to change my college minor to Dance as an excuse to start taking a ton of technical dance classes at school. Before I knew it, Lindy Hop had been pushed to the back burner so I could focus on my Ballet, Jazz, Modern, and Tap classes. Instead of learning about Frankie Manning and Norma Miller, I was learning about Bob Fosse, Martha Graham, and Jerome Robbins. I even managed to build up the courage to audition for and get a part in the spring dance concert at my school, and then another one in the fall. Taking a break from Lindy Hop and learning other dance styles turned out to be a great idea, because it got me interested and excited about dance again. I hadn’t forgotten about Lindy Hop, though: I promised myself I would dive back into it once I graduated from college and apply everything I had learned about dance in school to the dance form that I had always known and loved. Two-thousand-eleven would be the year I became passionate about Lindy Hop again.
Two-thousand-eleven is almost over, and I’d be lying if I said I’ve spent the last year performing, competing, and teaching again. In fact, I could probably count on my fingers and toes the number of times I’ve gone out social dancing these past 12 months. I don’t dance anymore, at least not the way that I used to: I used to go out social dancing a minimum of two nights a week, and in college I was dancing almost every day; now I only go out dancing a couple nights a month, if at all. And the few times I do manage to get myself out on the dance floor? I don’t feel that fire in my heart when I move anymore; now it’s more like a small candle that’s struggling to stay lit.
I don’t know the exact reason why I’ve been feeling so apathetic about something I used to love, but I have a few ideas. I know it’s not because of the swing dance scene in Seoul; in fact, Seoul’s swing dance scene is amazing, so you’d think I would be going out dancing every night! I think a big part of it is I miss going out dancing and seeing my dance friends– my best friends whom I’ve known for years; I miss dancing with them and hanging out with them at the venues we’d frequent. I don’t have that anymore here in Korea. Another reason why I think I’ve lost interest is because I’m growing up; therefore, my focus is on other things in life, like traveling internationally, working on my career, getting married, etc. I don’t have the time anymore to study dance clips on Youtube all day; I don’t want to spend my money on dance events I’ve already been to in the past. I spent six years dedicating my life to dance; I think the time has come to move on.
Even though my concentrated efforts of being a dancer and constantly working on my dancing are coming to an end, I know I’ll still always love dance: I will always be religiously devoted to watching shows like So You Think You Can Dance and Glee; my favorite musicals will always be Chicago, West Side Story, and Singing in the Rain; and I still plan on enrolling my future children in dance classes as soon as they start walking. As for Lindy Hop, I will always love that, too, because not only did it bring me so much joy for the past six years, it led me to some really amazing friends. Despite the fact it’s not a prevalent part of my life anymore, I will always appreciate what Lindy Hop has done for me, and I’ll always remember it as something I did and was passionate about in life.