A friend's query. My thoughts:
I grew up dancing--I think that's part of it: it's just part of my routine. But I continue it because I like moving my body, I like figuring out how it moves, how it can move. People always used to say I was a dorky dancer, but I loved moving/dancing anyway. I think I would have continued dancing even if I was never "good". The fact that people seem to enjoy my dancing now is a blessing--an added bonus that I never expected. Dance is so versatile--I can express my emotions, or an idea, or abstract shapes through dance. I can make it big, I can make it small. I can challenge myself to isolate parts, or let go and dance ecstatically with my whole being. Dance is also universal--to be enjoyed anywhere, anytime, with anyone, or alone--it sees no boundaries.
I teach because I am happy to share with others the joy that I get from dance, but also because I feel like I actually have something to offer. After this many years I feel like I have a good handle on doing things in a way that is healthful and not harmful for your body. And that makes me feel good to share.
Performances can be very nerve wracking, and they can also be really fun and rewarding. I think I perform for different reasons than why I dance, though. Partially it fulfills the ham in me, partially it is another avenue of dance that simply can't be explored in any other way, partially it is a good check on my abilities, on my confidence: What have I nailed? What do I still need more work on? Also, with costuming, performance allows me to express another avenue of my creativity.