For as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to dance. No matter the song, no matter the location, if music was playing, I was dancing. Throughout my childhood of persistent inconsistencies, the one piece that always remained constant was dance.
Growing up in a single parent household left me with two things: a lack of money for extracurriculars and a lack of confidence to be who I was. Dance helped to mend both of those wounds.
Paying for classes, costumes, and competitions was simply not possible for my mother. Fortunately, I had a dance teacher who believed in me from the beginning and helped me to sustain my practice in the studio by allowing me to teach dance class, in order to take class; building up my confidence as a dancer and as a human. However, as soon as I left the studio, that lack of confidence opened back up again.
The lack of confidence left me looking in the mirror at home feeling weak, ugly, lacking in skills, out of control, and almost always anxious. However, the moment I stepped back into the studio, and looked in that mirror, and began moving to the music, I was a new version of myself. I was strong, beautiful, talented, empowered, and ready to work hard to reach my goals and dreams.
The space I created for myself was somewhere I felt safe, where I felt welcome and where it didn’t matter that I had body image issues, or that my parents were divorced, or that we didn’t have enough money to pay for dance classes. The dance studio made me feel whole, like a complete human being who didn’t have to question her worth.
As an adult, building a space that I so desperately craved when I was younger was my the driving force behind the creation of Chance to Dance. Chance to Dance’s mission is to provide an equitable and affordable dance education to all so that each child has the opportunity to dance. But, truthfully, we’re so much more than that. We’re building whole human beings who know that when they come to dance with us, they come exactly as they are, and that’s more than enough. They know, every day, without question, that they are “strong, beautiful, talented, empowered and ready to work hard.”
- Angela Gonzales, Founder