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From Passion to Profession: my journey as a dancer. By Quintus Jansen

Why Did I Start Dancing?

Over the years, many people have asked me how I got into dancing. The simple answer is that my mother forced me to do it. Growing up in the Cape Flats, a rough part of the world, my mother thought it would be a good idea to get my brothers and me out of the neighborhood on occasion and learn how to be gentlemen. This was my introduction to ballroom dancing.

Before ballroom dancing, I used to do hip-hop and breakdancing with my friends. We would put a cardboard box on the sidewalk as a makeshift dance floor and try out some new moves. This was in the 80s when breakdancing and rap music started becoming a worldwide phenomenon.

So what made me stay in dancing? Well, I started noticing girls and I started winning competitions. Winning is definitely addictive! I also had the opportunity to travel around the country and experience other places and cultures. Dancing gave me a vision for a slightly better future than the one I was living in.

When I started traveling overseas, I saw how well-groomed the dancers were, and how the gentlemen treated their partners and everyone around them. This made me appreciate dance even more. The top dancers got to travel the world and express their art form, creating beauty instead of contributing to the destructive environment I grew up in. I was sold.

Recently, I’ve come into contact with many serious dancers who were also introduced to dance by their parents. It was interesting to note that parents often made their children commit to dance long enough so that their passion and talent could be harnessed and enhanced.

However, I’ve had many parents tell me that their kids don’t want to dance anymore. Yet, when I see their kids on social media, they’re dancing and having a blast. Of course, not everyone wants to compete or reach a higher level. Many people just want to dance for fun. At the same time, some parents want their children to achieve and do well, but let them stop dancing because it’s too hard or they’ve lost their passion. In my experience, everything works in cycles, and passions can be reignited if people keep going through the tough times.

Communication can also be a challenge. People make up excuses and concoct silly reasons as to why they’ve decided to do what they’ve done instead of just being honest about what they want. If you don’t want your child to dance anymore, or if they don’t want to, just say so. If you can’t afford dance lessons, communicate that. If you want to try something else, communicate that. There’s no harm in being honest.

In conclusion, I invite you to try dancing in any way, shape, or form. Attend a dance social, sign up for a dance course, or take private dance lessons if you’re shy. Dance because it makes your heart happy. Remember, you only live once, so make the most of it.

Written by Quintus Jansen

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