I Hope You Dance

I hope you never lose your sense of wonder
You get your fill to eat but always keep that hunger
May you never take one single breath for granted
God forbid love ever leave you empty handed


I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean
Whenever one door closes I hope one more opens
Promise me that you’ll give faith a fighting chance
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance
I hope you dance.¹

I’m not really much of a country music fan, but something about this song strikes a chord in me. Dancing is such a universal form of expression. In some cultures it has religious significance, or is a celebration of seasonal rites. In others, it’s simply a form of artistic expression, or a way of communicating a story. And sometimes it’s a way to communicate with a partner.

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I hope you never fear those mountains in the distance
Never settle for the path of least resistance
Livin’ might mean takin’ chances, but they’re worth takin’
Lovin’ might be a mistake, but it’s worth makin’
Don’t let some Hellbent heart leave you bitter
When you come close to sellin’ out, reconsider
Give the heavens above more than just a passing glance
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance
I hope you dance.¹

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I know some people who dance just for the love of it, and what they can express through it. Interpretation of music through dance can be very moving. My beloved, when he was doing stage lighting for a living, loved lighting dancers – he said it was like illuminating moving sculpture.

Time is a wheel in constant motion always rolling us along
Tell me who wants to look back on their years and wonder, where those years have gone?

I would have loved to be a wonderful dancer. I took lessons off and on from pre-school into college, but I just never had the stuff…  I suspect the discipline just wasn’t there (I was ADHD even as a child), as can be seen in this video of my first recital. That poor lovely blonde teacher must have been pulling her perfect hair out!

I know I’ll never be ready for prime time… but I still love to dance!


This post was in response to a challenge from Ailsa at WheresMyBackpack. This week’s Travel theme is Dance. To see her challenge and how other bloggers have responded, click here!


¹Lyrics taken from I Hope You Dance by Sillers/Sanders, as recorded by Lee Ann Womack.


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17 Responses to I Hope You Dance

  1. Pingback: Dance as an expression | rfljenksy – Practicing Simplicity

  2. lexiesnana says:

    These words were something my daughter Brooke told me to listen to when she found out her first baby was going to be born sick. It touched her so she wanted me to hear what she wished for her little girl. Thanks for that memory.


  3. Pingback: 5-6-13 Travel Theme: Dance – Coney Island “Boro Walk” Edition | The Quotidian Hudson

  4. Marso says:

    Thank you for introducing me to these lyrics. I clicked on the video, but oh, I so prefer just reading them!


  5. Pamela Blake says:

    I was not familiar with the song either. I love how it captures the joy of self-expression and grants permission to just BE. I would like to share it with my niece who is graduating college this spring and will soon be venturing out on her own. And it is a good reminder to myself too. Thanks for sharing this AND the home video, which is precious. Great companion pieces.


  6. Wonderful song with touching words. This is a great post for the challenge. I enjoyed the recital video very much. It brought me back to when I was a dance teacher with little ones. They are the show stoppers at all recitals. ~~~ : – )


    • I remember watching my own girls at their recitals when they were little – although they did behave a little better – they never spoke to their neighbors onstage! God bless you for taking on the little ones. My niece teaches dance to children, and I know what a challenge they can be, and how unpredictable! Thanks for your comment, Isadora! 😉


  7. Thank you so much for this lovely post .. and the song. I had not heard the song before so I was delighted to be introduced to the beautiful words and the video (and the singer).
    You have delightfully reminded me of the importance to be .. to not do but instead just be!! and if I feel like dancing today or tomorrow I shall. Thank you for my best moment of today. 🙂


  8. liz2you says:

    One of my favourite songs. It has so much meaning, as for me it seems to be a life lesson. Don’t sit back if given the chance to try something new; don’t turn away a chance of love and marriage because you fear the future. Take that top job, you CAN do it!! Lovely. I like the Ronan Keeting version too.


  9. Oh my goodness. That video is way too cute. You are so concerned about all your friends and what you are all doing. Take charge, girl. And dance!


    • Thanks, Gemma… this home movie has been a family favorite for going on 60 years… my sister has always been a consummate and serious performer (mostly piano), so as you can imagine, the contrast between us is exemplified here! When we watch this together, tears run down our cheeks as we’re doubled over in laughter! 😉


      • I’ve seen photos of myself at that age. I was all legs and pencil thin. I haven’t changed a bit! Hahaha! My sis and I are 8 years apart but looking at photos always brings us to joyous tears as well. 🙂


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