Category : Blogs
Sub Category : Motivation
You aren’t the same person you were as a kid, are you? I can easily state that I am not. Maybe high school does that to you, maybe it’s life who plays that role, or maybe aging takes its toll on you. Through all of these we develop a personality, figure out what we like and what we want, but we also develop our fears and our opinions of ourselves.
Despite the fact that I don’t know what so drastically changed me and my life, from time to time I try to think of possibilities. Was it the fact I lost my best friend due to some brainless incident between our parents? Is it because my whole environment changed when the four of us moved from a dreadful two bedroom apartment to a two-story building to truly call home? Could it be the moment my best friend migrated to the other side of the country? Was it a good change or a bad change that affected me so much? I couldn’t put my finger on the exact moment, but these could all be contributing factors.
Last year, or the one before, or even the year before that, I wouldn’t, couldn’t, see myself on a dance.
It is true that anyone can dance, all you really need to do is get up and move to some music. But performing in front of people, hundreds of eyes looking down at you is much more different than dancing at a party.
Opposing to when I was younger, I developed an anxiety disorder. This means I’m constantly overly anxious, and at any moment an anxiety attack can be triggered. Which then leads to stage-fright, social anxiety, panic attacks, and so on. Doctors at first told me it’s just a phase that everyone goes through, now they tell me I have to figure how to cope with it. I also took it into my own hands to train my dog as a service dog, he is trained to alert me in coming panic attacks, DPT (Deep Pressure Therapy), and overall is a comfort. With this issue, something must have changed allowing me to partake in a dance team. A team who performs in front of crowds who have hundreds of people to watch, such as this coming up Holiday Bowl.
Dancing is far out of my comfort zone. And I couldn’t say I am the best at it. Actually, I would be considered a beginner. I haven’t been one to try new things. Dancing was a spur of the moment thing I tried out for.
Its nerve wracking being on a team with girls who have been dancing before speaking, or the ones who can pick up on choreography just after watching it, or the ones who can bend in ways I can’t.
Tryouts were presumably the most intimidating days of dance. In the commons of my high school, 7 girls other than me show up, none of which I am too familiar with. Strutting in on the opposite side of the commons, the two previous year’s captains show up, and I could already feel the tremble in my hands. It may sound over exaggerated, but these two girls were over-all the actual human form of intimidation. They whispered to each other, looked up, then whispered more, only God knows what they could have gossiped about. They walked with their chin up, maybe to try and hide their double chins, or maybe to oversee the girls I sat with, but I wasn’t sure. My emotions sat aside and anchored down, in hope that I would be able to get through this day.
The two introduce themselves as Mckenzie and Hannah, Mckenzie having a sweet, calm, higher pitched voice, and Hannah had the voice and attitude of someone is only there to get paid. Tryout day was going to be a long day.
The instructors move to the front of the commons, and I moved to the back row of girls, the girls who were also new to dance. Mckenzie taught her part of the dance first, Jazz. I personally loved it, we pointed our toes, hit sharp moves, stressed our bodies to look generally good. I am not saying I was the top dancer in this section but I did enjoy the dance. If there were questions, Mckenzie answered lighthearted, or 1-on-1 helped us with parts we struggled with. We drift through sets of 8-counts apace, before I knew it we were going to music.
We only worked on that dance for that day, but day two rolled around, that’s when it got hard. Hannah took her turn to teach a dance, hip-hop. I was generally relaxed and confident, thirsty to learn. She starts going through to choreography as if we were hurried and short on time, but we had a whole two hours to learn. I didn’t think this was a problem, so I just went with it. When we got to the music, I looked like flappy bird, stiff but bouncing and messed up every 4 seconds. I would have rather run into a pipe. I tried to ask for help, but discordant to Mckenzie, Hannah was snappy, rolled her eyes, avoided talking. I evaded my questions and tried figuring things out on my own.
After the two hour torture, I eventually arrived home. I practiced the dances for what felt like forever, sharpening my moves and figuring out the ones I struggled with. That was an actual two hours I spent of my own time.
The final tryout day crept up on me, and I wasn’t prepared. I knew our dances, but my mind wasn’t ready for the judgment. We practiced our two dances and work on a stomp. We were previously told there would be three judges and a very strict criticism we had to follow at our best. I spent a good twenty minutes in the bathroom crying, shaking, breathing thin air. I didn’t leave the room until eyes stopped being puffy. One by one we were called back, and I was the third to be called. I approach a room with a table set-up with bags of candy and balloons and little notes and a “congratulations!!!!!!” sign (with every exclamation mark) inside. I was confused to see only my coach in the room.
I walk in gingerly and observe the room and my coaches body language. She smiles and gives me a big hug and sits me down in a chair. I was prepared for the bad news, despite the decor in the room, and smile through some tears.
My coach looks down at a paper, fingers through a list of names and whispers,” You made the team.”
I immediately flood with emotion, flushing out the bad ones for the best ones. I hug her with so many thank you’s and smile bigger than I had the previous three days.
Regardless of tryouts, there are days I want to quit the team. I freak out before every performance, even during every once in a while. Sometimes the choreography is harder than I expected. My head gets to me, and I just want to be alone and cry. Other times I can be parlously excited, excitement can switch to anxiety in a snap. But I only have to remember to stay calm, breath, and do my best.
I am still adapting to making mistakes and being okay with it. I have been learning balance and stretching in ways I had considered impossible beforehand.
My coach is always encouraging me and my teammates. She says “ You are capable of anything you put effort into.” This may be something that keeps me going on the low days. When I go home to practice I always accomplish the choreography as I did during tryouts. I won’t quit the team, or I hope that I won’t because I have learned a remarkable amount about myself. I learned self-discipline, focus, memory, and more from the minimal amount of time I have been on this team. And I hope to inspire others to do new things and try to put themselves out there as I did.
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