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I believe that play has become much more complicated over my lifetime. This is partly due to technology. I have a hard time remembering what types of play I did throughout my grade school years. I enjoyed putting on shows and creating make-believe situations. Me and my friends would put on plays and dance. We’d also open up make believe stores and play teacher. I think many kids still do these types of things, but so many of the toys geared to kids today are high tech. I worked at a toy store over Christmas break and I couldn’t believe how many of the toys were electronic. The only technological toy I can recall from my childhood was my super Nintendo. Video games are still big, and allow kids to make believe in a new way which is much less active. Play has become less active. I don’t think as many kids get off the couch and play sports. I may not have played actual sports as a kid, but I still danced and remained active. I couldn’t imagine what I would have done in my spare time if I hadn’t danced. That consumed a lot of my free time.
Since I always put on plays and danced as a kid, I think it’s shaped me to be a performer. I like to get up in front of a crowd and dance. I think this has determined my career path as well. I like sharing with others, whether it be teaching, or performing. Being part of a dance team in high school and having a great coach really impacted me. My coach opened my eyes to many things. Not just dance, but how to handle situations life throws at you. No matter what situation occurred, whether it was to our team, or to me personally she always had wisdom. To me dancing was the largest part of play in my life and has shaped me in a number of ways.
Such a lax thing like play can actually have a large impact on a kid. Play or athletics remains with you throughout a lifetime. Being part of any team provides you with unique skills. I feel that I obtained people skills and confidence. It has turned me into a more ambitious person. If I didn’t have something to strive for, I’d feel lazy. I’ve always had a busy schedule and try to balance lots of activities. But at the same time you need that play time that is free and creative. I got that feeling with dance. Everyone has their own type of play and gains something from it.