Now’s the time to go renegade
It’s been nearly a month since I left my day job. The security, guaranteed paycheck, health insurance, life insurance, retirement fund of my day job. I often wonder if this was the right time to leave my day job. The global economy is in the toilet, American unemployment rates are the highest they’ve been in decades, and most importantly for me, potential dance students might not want to spend their hard-earned dollars on dance classes. Dance classes, particularly for beginner students, in these times are a bit of a luxury. They’re not a necessary expense for most people, and most of us know that the more we get involved in belly dance, the more expensive and consuming it becomes.
But… I like to think positively. I try very hard to be a “glass half full” kind of person, searching for opportunity within adversity. And I think that if I can be financially comfortable in the current economy, when people don’t have as much money to spend on luxury items like dance, I will be just fine in the future. If I’m moderately financially stable now, in a few years, I should be just fine.
Also, surprisingly, I haven’t noticed a decrease in attendance in either my local weekly classes or my workshops. It seems to me that even in tough times, or maybe especially in tough times, people need to dance. They need art. They need an escape that gives them a time and place for them to work on themselves, where they don’t have to worry about their families, their children, their boss, their finances. Dance gives the women (and men) in my classes a chance to leave the worries of the world outside the studio, and for that hour they have nothing to concentrate on but themselves. I was worried that people wouldn’t want to spend their money on dance classes, but maybe in times like these, an escape like dance is even more necessary.
Maybe my worries about dancing full time and not having a steady income are a bit more unfounded than I think they are. Sure, living off of my art is hard work, and it will never cease to be hard work. However, I’m not only making myself happier, but I’d like to think that I’m also bringing joy to all of the students who take my classes. That alone is worth following my passion to teach and dance fulltime.