Strut your Stuff!

Dancing with the feet is one thing, but dancing with the heart is another.  -Anonymous                                                                                                                                                                            

For so many years in the past, I’ve danced as I was instructed to. But now, I’ve forgotten how it felt like strutting your stuff.

Attending my brother’s school affair was a good decision. I thought I wouldn’t enjoy but I did. I was even reminded that once, I have  adored strutting my stuff. I used to join a lot of programs and contests as a grade schooler. Only a few people from my high school and college years knew about that . And mind you, I even won some awards with the skill I used to display a lot. If you knew me way back, you’d find out that I was rather slender but not too thin– like the kind of thin young ones are so obsessed right now.  I eventually figured as I grew chubby that the reason I hardly gain weight before is because of the extracurricular activities I used to involve myself including dancing.

My relatives were really supportive of whatever event I would sign-up for. I think they were quite happy of my talent that they even made me, my cousin, and my sister form a group.  And yes, we did a lot of dancing– not only  at school programs but also at family affairs and some barangay fiestas. With this, I got used to all the practices and the learning of the steps.

However, everything changed when I went to high school.

All the confidence I’ve gained from dancing was lost. The adjustment I had to make consumed me. Adapting  to a whole new environment ate up all my confidence and self-esteem. I grew shy and unsure of my talents.  Looking back, I realized that I focused more on making friends than joining clubs to hone my potentials. I did attempt to join the dance club, but I was just too scared to audition. I really feared rejection and scrutiny. I was used to people saying I dance very well so I was quite afraid that they’d find my dancing a bit too ordinary.

On the contrary, there were times that I was able to muster some courage.  When intrams came, during my freshman year, I couldn’t resist myself from joining the pep squad. I still remember that few of my classmates tried out for the squad. They did it as a group while I auditioned as a soloist. They never invited me on their team so I had no choice but to go on my own. I was scared and paranoid of screwing up. I considered myself really lucky then because I made the cut and the succeeding ones. Unfortunately, most of my classmates weren’t picked. Only two of us from my section were privileged enough to get picked.  What’s even fascinating is that both of us auditioned solo. Somehow, I took pride on that.

Now, maybe you’re thinking that I also made it on the squad on my second, third, and fourth year. I’m sorry to made you think that way but I only made it twice. There was actually no pep squad during my second year so that doesn’t count, meaning out of three years left, I was able to join two competitions. One during my freshman year and the other during my junior year.

My pep squad stint as a junior was also a challenge. It was difficult to join the squad. Again, there were auditions and once again, I had to dance in front of a lot of people. As you know by now, I also managed to get in. Thank God for granting my request. I bet that was my lucky day. Well, if you want to know about what happened on my fourth year try out, then I’ll let you in on a secret: it’s because there were a lot better dancers in our section and since I haven’t danced for a long time, my moves kinda sucked. There, I said it. Lol.

All those years I’ve spent in high school, I only realized how I really missed dancing when I saw some of my classmates performing on stage. Yes, I also wanted to be excused from classes like most high school students wanted but truth is, I never really got to showcase what I have or even hone them.

Nothing really changed when I went to college. And sometimes, I regret that I never even gave myself a chance to try out and be a part of any performing org. I was just too scared and was too overpowered by my fear that’s why I hate myself for everything.

When I watched the opening celebration of my former school’s intramurals last month, I thought how foolish I was to let all those years pass without doing anything to the only talent that gives a boost to my ego and confidence. Even if I was only watching from the bleachers, all those memories of practicing came back to me. It was such a pity that I realized all my self confidence came from my dancing. And it was even more frustrating and disappointing  to know how I took my talent for granted all these years.

And now, no matter what I do, I can never go back to fix that. I can only remember and re-live all those happy memories when I still have it and I can still strut my stuff.

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