Share your dance experience – Elena

How has dance impacted your life? Have you found that dance has helped you overcome any challenges or obstacles? Have you noticed any physical or mental benefits from dancing? The marketing team is looking to share experiences of the RAD community.

We are always looking to highlight individuals from diverse and intersectional backgrounds, including differences in race, age, sexuality, gender, ethnicity, physical ability, neurodiversity, social upbringing, as well as various countries, cultures and religions.

We love to hear your stories!

How has teaching dance impacted your life?

Teaching dance – quite simply – allows me to share the joy of dance with others. Moving with others in a caring space where you get to express yourself and explore your creativity, is such an exciting experience. When you get to dance together in such a space, it lets you connect on different levels.

These connections are what truly fascinate me about teaching dance. It is such a great way of finding and building community and sharing with one another. You can be creative, vulnerable, brave, playful, in your own world and so connected all at the same time.
And dance can mean so many different things to different people and that is so exciting! In a way, I relearn what dance can be through each person that I work with. I am always looking forward to keeping learning and growing with each group and individual that I work with and being surprised by their creativity and ideas.

Have you seen any positive changes in your students as a result of your teaching?

I think every person always takes away something different from a dance class, depending on where they are at in their journey with dance or how they are feeling on the day and that is the beauty of it. In my teaching, I try to keep outcomes open so people can take what they need.

As a facilitator, I am always excited to hear when people tell me that they were able to learn something new about themselves, e.g. that they didn’t know that they could be this creative or after trying out a new move that they didn’t think they would like or could do. Most recently, I have really appreciated the feedback I have received at my queer dance workshop series. These workshops aim to create a space for queer women, trans and non-binary people to explore their creativity. Participants have shared with me that they were able to ‘get out of their head and into their body’ and felt very comfortable to be creative and connect with others in the group. Hearing these comments and noticing that individuals are becoming more confident in their creativity and movement and are making new connections, motivates me to keep working on my teaching practice.

Have you noticed any physical or mental benefits from dancing?

Dance can benefit us in so many ways, whether that is to get moving or forget about our day-to-day struggles. Personally, dance creates a space for me where I can be with myself, check in with my body and emotions. But also, a place where I can just let go and have fun and connect with other people.

While dancing is my career, I try to put aside intentional time to remind myself why I love to dance and just enjoy dance for myself without thinking too much about the next class I am teaching.

Elena Alava Hilgert (she/they)

Instagram: @jelly_and_fish