There is magic in a breath on stage.

Maybe you’ve seen this—a dancer goes through a multitude of incredible feats of skill and strength and stamina and then they stop, they look at you, and they breathe. In that pause, you’ve forgotten that you are outside of their world. You’ve forgotten how many aerials and pirouettes and splits they’ve just achieved, because you’re alive within the moment they are sharing with you.

There is so much attention and love given to that one breath, that one look. Those moments are choreographed, sure, but those elements are nearly as difficult to manage as a beautiful penché. Maybe that seems hyperbolic, but sometimes it can be easier to push and work and achieve than it can be to stop and be present in one moment. This same routine, done without the homage to this one moment, would be completely different.

We see this in our day-to-day lives also. While we rush from school to the grocery store, or scribble notes and make goals, it’s easy to forget that this life is made up of those tiny moments. Forgettable moments and preparatory breaths that pile up to those big, celebratory moments. Moments that we rush past, endure, and leave empty.

But if this breath can fill us with so much feeling on stage, why do we so easily discard them in our daily practices?

During February, a month made to remind us of love in all its forms, we have the perfect opportunity to reflect on and love those little moments. The moment when your friend smiles at you in the hallway. The moment where you decided to start something new. That breath where you felt balanced, ready. The thrum of the music in your chest. Whether it goes your way or not, these moments build on one another, bring you to the stage, the achievement , the next goal—so this month, let’s stop. Let’s feel those moments, and fill them with our attention, our presence, our love.

The love of dance and life is not about the end of the skill or the next trophy or the next routine. The love is in these moments that builds and bridges the gaps between the big achievements. The breaths. The presence. The conscious effort of thankfulness and mindfulness and acceptance can transform those moments into love, for yourself and everyone around you. We don’t only want to focus on those two minutes on stage when there are so many hours that lead up to it. We won’t only celebrate the wins, when the thousand attempts before them are where you’ve lived.

So, this month, we invite you to stop, breathe, and catalogue those mundane moments that we so often ignore. Take a moment to appreciate that foot stretch, that conversation with a friend, or your snack break—then tag Prestige Dance Academy in a photo of it on social media for your chance to win a prize. Remind us of all these small moments where you cultivate the love of dance.

Because there is magic in your breath off stage too.