My Dance Story
I’ve always had a soft spot for dance. When I was a kid I dreamed of becoming a ballerina. I was obsessed! Every morning I’d wake up and wear my favorite swimsuit with a tutu and “practice” my toe pointing (dont know the official term but you get what I mean) and I’d put on “Barbie and The Nutcracker”on VCR, trying my hardest to do the choreography in the final scene where Barbie was teaching her sister Kelly.
It made me so happy! I knew the choreography by heart, but I had no instructor so, as far as I knew, I wasn’t doing any of it right 😂
I could see how much it broke my mother’s heart knowing she couldn’t enroll me in a proper ballet school for kids because there weren’t any where we lived and even if there were, she could probably never afford it.
And even though she could, we had been told by several people that I would eventually grow too tall to ever be a professional ballerina.
Bottom line I never, got to get dance lessons and I never got to be a ballerina.
Despite that, I nurtured my love for dance till I became a teenager when I found a new obsession. Hip hop! Heck if I can’t stand on my toes I can damn well break dance! Dance movies where a godsend and I watched “You Got Served” so many times, I couldn’t count.
I’d practice all the hottest new dances and sing in my room in front of my mirror alone, and feel wonderful but I was way too shy to do any of it in front of people. I was so afraid of getting shut down or laughed at, seeing as it happened quite a lot. I was told so many times how awkward I looked when I danced and I guessed it had something to do with my freakishly long arms and my 5’11 tall body.
As a result time passed and dance soon became that one hobby I tossed far behind me. I stopped all together. Still haven’t had a proper dance fit in 4 years.
But every time I watch a Chris Brown music video or any hip hop dance video for that matter, I feel the most overwhelming urge to get on my feet, let all self conscious thoughts go and dance my heart out.
There was one moment in my life however, that still serves as one of my brightest memories. The one and only moment in history I ever danced in front of an audience and overcame my fear.
It was the 2011 Variety show at my Secondary School. For many kids The Variety Show was a chance to express ourselves and for most artistic kids like me, to come out of our shells and do that one dance, or sing that song we always dreamed of singing in front of an audience. I never thought I’d ever be able to perform anything but at the last minute I decided to join a group of girls that were going to do a dance performance.
Together we created a choreography and at the end of it we did an adaptation of Beyonce’s “Move your body” dance and exercise campaign. Our audience was huge! We were a large group and I was right in the centre of it with my hair let down, big and bold. I pulled it off with all the confidence in the world and for the first time in my life I felt like Me.
Lately I’ve found myself right back at the beginning. Time passed and people made negative comments about my dancing, watched the video of the Variety Show performance and said I looked funny. As much as it’s important for one to not let the opinions of others bother you, mean comments still have a powerful effect on human psychology one way or another and its often difficult to pick oneself up after being shut down so many times.
I banished dance from my life and ended up more self conscious about dancing than I have ever been in my entire life.
But I can’t run away from it anymore. It hurts too much, limiting myself because of fear. I’ve decided get back on the road to self discovery. I intend to pick myself back up again and dance once more, with or without help and encouragement from others and most importantly, I’ve decided to shut down any shamers I encounter on my journey because it’s my life and how I live it is entirely up to me.
I love dance and I hope one day I will dance again.