Tacoma, WA

My experience taking dance classes as a novice at 32 yrs old.

Ace T

I didn't realize dancing was one of my passions in life until I started attending dance classes last year. I am now 33 years old; I've only attended 1 or 2 jazz dance classes as a child, and it was for a summer class offered by my dad's work. Where we learned one choreography for 2 months and performed in front of people at the end of the summer. I didn't get a chance to really learn a lot from that experience. I was 6 years old then, and I put it in my back pocket and never followed through with another class. I remember liking the dance, and I remember not really talking to people. I figured it was only a couple of months and I won't really get to hang out with the people in class afterward. Years passed and the only time I'd dance was when I was intoxicated or in my car when no one was looking at me.

Have you ever had that feeling of needing to do something, and that thought doesn't go away throughout the years until you finally start doing it? My life's been filled with just work. I used to have two full-time jobs then, and it kept me distracted from not doing anything else I was passionate about. When I moved here back in 2019, I told myself I need to get a proper hobby that doesn't involve building equity or making money. I wanted to meet people and I figured maybe I should take dance classes and meet people that way.

Then COVID-19 happened.. I had to put the thought again on the back burner as it wouldn't make sense to attend a class where you are trying to meet people in person.. and everyone was meeting virtually.

So I waited.. after 2 years the pandemic was slowing down and we started slowly allowing people to be in the same space. I started becoming excited and looked up dance classes in my area and researched which ones had safety precautions still in place. By March 2022 I attended my first hip-hop class on a Thursday night in Tacoma Dance Studios with Tiffany Adams(Now known as Pacific Northwest Dance Foundation). We danced to Bruno Mars' 24K Magic. I came in the class late, and they have already started warm-ups. I was welcomed by one of the students, she smiled, then made space for me. I was on the very outer side of the class, just enough to see my reflection in the mirror and learn the choreography. Even then, I felt I was in the right place.

We finished the class and Tiffany announce that they were doing a show and they are looking for people to join and perform the choreography we just learned. They were doing a take on Wizard of Oz for the summer show. My interest peaked and I gave myself a good week to think about doing it. I told myself this would be a great way to meet new people. I was going through some life changes at the time and needed to find other ways of expressing myself. I made a pact with myself that I would stick to attending hip-hop dance classes for at least a year regardless if I'm good at it or not. What mattered to me was that I was enjoying my time.

I performed at the 2022 Summer Show and I got to see most of the behind-the-scenes of how they put everything together and I was in awe. There was a sense of community and belongingness every time I was in rehearsals or dance classes. I enjoyed it so much that I told myself I would definitely perform in the next shows. I met many amazing, talented people throughout the months and I feel very lucky and blessed to call them my friends.

After the show, Tiffany announced that she is starting a non-profit dance foundation with her best friends. She shared her story of why and what made her pursue this journey. I could relate to her story and it made me want to support her cause. If we had a program like this when I was growing up, it made me wonder how different my life would be. I've always been a lone wolf growing up, and I was always a quiet child. I never really felt like myself until I started dancing consistently.

Fast forward to today, I started doing Adult Ballet for beginners, and heels dance class for some time now, and we have another show coming up on June 3rd, 2023 at Silas Highschool. This time, we are doing a take on Alice in Wonderland. I must say, the foundation has upped the ante compared to past shows.

Alice in Wonderland SynopsisPhoto byPNWD Foundation

Pacific Northwest Dance Foundation provides dance and performing arts education to all ages and abilities. Something I didn't think I would enjoy thoroughly.

If you are interested in getting free tickets, try your luck on the raffle.

Ticket giveaway detailsPhoto byPNWD Foundation

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Member of Pacific Northwest Dance Foundation based in Tacoma. Dance Enthusiast. Foodie, Pet Lover, LGBTQIA+ supporter, and aspiring Personal Trainer specializing in Strength Training.

Tacoma, WA

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