Dance Your Way Through

Erika Petrelli
Erika Petrelli

Many years ago, my family was vacationing in Florida, and we went to one of those Human Mazes. My mom, step-dad, sister, and I all went in together. My mom quickly maneuvered her way through the maze and settled in at the viewing platform where successful maze-goers could look upon their hapless companions still wandering the cavernous field. Meanwhile, back in the maze, my step-dad found the nearest emergency exit and my sister crawled under the hedges to get out. I, however, went round and round in circles trying to complete the maze, frustration growing with every wrong turn. In the blazing Florida sun I was blinded by sweat and irritation, dismayed at my inability to solve the puzzle.

Suddenly I heard my mom yell from the victors’ platform: “Just dance your way through it!” Just dance my way through it? What does that even mean? I closed my eyes, took a deep breath, and relaxed my body. I thought about dancing and how when you’re dancing for pure pleasure you’re not really thinking about anything – you’re just enjoying the sounds, the feeling, the joy of the moment. I opened my eyes and decided to stop thinking about how to get out of the maze; rather, I just followed the sounds around me, the feeling of the maze, and quickly found my way through.

Since that day I've thought a lot about what it means to “dance my way through” and I realize that in most situations, when I think too much, worry too much, try too hard, or allow frustration to take over, I falter. But when I am able to relax in the present moment, enjoy all that surrounds me, and breathe in the air, I thrive.


Are you “dancing your way through”?

Erika Petrelli

By Erika Petrelli

Erika Petrelli is the Senior Vice President of Leadership Development (and self-declared Minister of Mischief) for The Leadership Program, a New York City-based organization. With a Masters degree in Secondary Education, Erika has been in the field of teaching and training for decades, and has been with The Leadership Program since 1999. There she has the opportunity to nurture the individual leadership spirit in both students and adults across the country, through training, coaching, keynotes, and writing. The legacy Erika strives daily to create is to be the runway upon which others take flight. If you enjoy these blogs, you should check out her interactive journal, On Wings & Whimsy: Finding the Extraordinary Within the Ordinary, now available for sale on Amazon. While her work takes her all around the country, Erika calls Indiana home.