We Can Dance… If We Want To

If you’re only following me for travel blogs, I apologize because today’s chat isn’t even slightly travel related.

As you may or may not know I love to dance. I’m not the greatest, but I love it with my heart and soul. It helps me express myself, be creative and be free. So, when I arrived at UL I joined the UL dance society, and applied to be a member of the committee as a class coordinator. Upon getting this position I’ve met so many amazing people and lifelong friends that I am going to miss so dearly once I leave. I also got to take a bunch of dance classes (for free because I’m a committee member) which helped me meet even more great people, get a little active and have some fun too.

Anyways, Thursday was our year semester end dance showcase, and because we were a little low on numbers I decided to enter a solo. I’ve never ever done a solo ever. Was I nervous? Terrified. Did I also mention it was self-choreographed? Yea, even scarier. But, there’s no time like the present and if there was anywhere to do it, it was here and now. Nobody knew me, and if I butchered the dance I could just run back to Canada like nothing happened. The week leading up to the show I spent at least 5 if not 6 or 7 hours in the studios working out a piece I’d be proud of and then rehearsed it like 15 times a day either in my head, on the way to class, in bed, in my tiny room, everywhere and anywhere. Due to time constraints it wasn’t my best work, but I ended up with a piece I liked and was performing well.

When Thursday rolled around I met at the theatre to run over my contemporary class dance, and then watched a few of the other rehearse before we started the show. The show started and everything was going excellent: all the dances looked great, everyone was performing well, and I was only a little nervous. When it was time for my contemporary class to go up I got pretty nervous, and usually I don’t get very nervous before I go onstage. The dance started, and as all dances do, it was over before I knew it. Everything went well, jumps were good, timing was good, the whole 9 yards. It was only a few numbers away from my solo. If I can do this group dance well I can kill that solo. Of course I can. I ran it over with music 5 or 6 times in the hall before I went backstage. I was ready. I was prepared.

Music starts, and everything is fine. I’ve lost my nerves. I can’t see the audience. I’m dancing for me and only me and man I am in the clouds. The first chorus comes and I do what I’m supposed to. Great. Facials are still good. Everything is fine. Second chorus comes and because I’ve ran the thing in my head so many times I kind of lose track of where I am in the song. This isn’t the second chorus, I feel like I’ve been on stage, this must be the third chorus, which is near the end of my song. So, I had planned to slightly improv after the third chorus because it was only a few counts until the end. But then it wasn’t. So I just continued to improv. And continued. And got nervous. And more nervous. And my leg is shaking. And why isn’t this song over. And keep dancing. And then the third chorus comes on. So I do what I was meaning to do at the second chorus and then just cut the end of it off, improv some more and then pose, song done.

I improved nearly 2 minutes of a dance that was 3 minutes and 51 seconds. I could have died. I worked so hard on that solo and in under 5 minutes I ruined it completely. The dance was a blur. I have no idea what I improv’d, or what my faces were, or anything. I was shaking and nervous and wanted to curl in a ball of sadness and roll all the way home into bed. But I didn’t because somethings you just can’t do.

I went backstage and then back into the audience to watch the rest of the show. My dance friends all congratulated me and said my solo was amazing. Another committee member said they didn’t know I had that in me, another said to me in shock and was like I didn’t know you could perform like that, your emotion was amazing. And by emotion, he wasn’t even referencing fear.

Sometimes you just gotta face your fears, and if you fail, well then you face even more fears and then you’re a little bit of a wreck inside. Sorry, I forgot about the positives. The positives are that you get pictures from your performance and video. I’m kidding (sort of). The positives are that I’m no longer terrified to do a solo because I realized I can improv myself into a whole other planet if I need to. I realized I can do whatever I put my mind to. I realized failure happens to everyone and it’s nothing to be ashamed of. I realized how proud I am of myself, and how far I’ve

come. Life really is great.

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