I Could Have Been a Dancer | What to Do When You Notice Your Child’s Unique Gifts

by Patrick on April 6, 2010

Illustration of Patrick

When I was five years old I loved to dance. To my mother’s dismay, I loved dancing on tables. Coffee tables, the dining room table, the kitchen counter, and even the bathroom sink! I was a toddler crazed to reach the highest point of the room and move to the beat.

So my mom bought me my very own dancing table in order to curb my addiction.

My mom did something that was amazing: she saw my need and met it. After I had my own table, I no longer needed to dance on all the other ones. So in the end, she had her need met: a house full of furniture free from footprints, and the germs that come with them!

As I got older I stopped dancing, and my inherent gift was wasted.

In college I started dancing again. Today I dance all the time and its one of my favorite things to do. It’s how I relieve stress.

Dancing is like my yoga.

And, if I do say so myself, I’m pretty good at it. I’m good at it because the universe intended for me to be a dancer. It’s how my brain is wired; it’s how my body works.

I was born to dance. Had my mother thought to go a step further than getting me a table, and enrolled me in dance classes, my life might have turned out totally differently.

Every child comes into this world hardwired for specific things. Each new life has unlimited potential wrapped in their genetic gifts.

Take a moment to notice your child’s gifts and interests.  What may seem like a destructive impulse, like dancing on furniture or drawing on walls, might really be a combination of their unique gifts and a giant imagination desperate to put those gifts to use.


Kelly Parkinson April 6, 2010 at 9:53 am

Your own dancing table! That’s brilliant. And adorable. I am a terrible dancer, but I still love it. Definitely get how it’s more relaxing than yoga. This is probably also why the B-52s are my favorite band. You can’t be in a bad mood and dance to the B-52s at the same time. It’s physiologically impossible. Dance on!
.-= Kelly Parkinson´s last blog ..What Would Jillian Michaels Do—About Your Sales Page? =-.

Queenie April 6, 2010 at 10:49 am

Oh! I must admit that you might have been a dancer on tour with Brittany Spears or any other big artist. My niece always tells my brother that she wants to be inside the t.v- I’m calling him right now to remind him to take her interest serious and go to the next level with it.
.-= Queenie´s last blog ..I Could Have Been a Dancer: What to Do When You Notice Your Child’s Unique Gifts =-.

Joan April 6, 2010 at 11:52 am

Patrick, you might be losing sight of the bigger picture here. If you had become a dancer, you might not have become a teacher. I’m more inclined to think that teaching (or maybe, more specifically, connecting with and supporting children) is your inherent gift and that if you had really been meant to dance, you would have pushed harder in that direction. Think of all the kids whose lives would not have been touched if you had never gotten into teaching. That’s sad.

Susan April 6, 2010 at 6:15 pm

You were meant to teach. You are blessed with a gift, and so the world is blessed.

Ariel April 7, 2010 at 11:57 am

Patrick- I love this post! I can totally relate. Queenie can attest to my love for dancing. I remember going to a birthday party when I was five and dancing all around the room and on the furniture. The girl’s mother asked if I was studying ballet. I replied, “Yes!” When my parents came to pick me up her mother asked my mother the same question and she said no.

I’ve always wondered where my life would be if my parents had invested in my lil’ heart’s desire and enrolled me in dance classes.

I am a dance lover and creative soul which I see as a connection to my work as an event designer/producer. So even though my parents didn’t have the “sight” to invest in my inherent gifts, I’ve been able to cultivate my talent, as an adult, in a different arena.

Now I live vicariously through the dancers on “So You Think You Can Dance” and “America’s Best Dance Crew”….

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