Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Dance & Life Lessons

I finally went for a session after 3 years and as I sit here, wide awake after my bath, so many thoughts are running through my mind. For most people, it'd probably be 'just another training' but for someone who's been gone for far too long... it means so much to me, to put myself out there again.

I don't have many loves in my life and few things ever truly pique my interest. I've never been the kind of person who did things just because it was deemed 'cool' or because everyone was doing it, precisely the reason why I've never bothered with games or gambling even though tons of my friends are into either. I've lost count of the number of times I've had friends call me out for a game of mahjong (or poker) and kindly offered to teach me how to play just so I could join, pretty much the same thing for computer/iphone games and every other thing that just doesn't interest me. Friends would ask me to try it, they'd tell me if I put in more time to train to be good at it I'd enjoy it more... but I just crawl back to my little hole and be Boring Audrey.

Dance is probably the only thing I've ever known my entire life (other than the necessary stuff I've had to learn). I can't sing well, I can't draw well, I can't even play the damn recorder. I remember bugging my mum to send me for ballet classes when I was 4, and even though the minimum age at that time to go for classes was 5, I insisted, I milked my puppy eyes ability to the fullest potential that even the teacher relented. I remember what it was like finally stepping into the dance studio for the first time in my pretty pink (well that was then, I hate pink now) leotard and ballet shoes and just being in awe and utter excitement. Fast forward a couple of years down the road, I had to quit ballet because the fees got too expensive, but that didn't stop me from dancing. I went on to take Chinese Dance in primary school then Contemporary Dance in secondary school and finally Hip Hop and Reggae in Polytechnic.

I was crazy passionate about dancing, putting tons of time aside to train, always pushing to be better and even got really depressed when I was out cold for 3 months due to injuries. But somewhere along the way... I just lost it. I didn't just lose my love or passion for dance, I pretty much just lost it for life. That spark I had in me to push on for the things I loved or had to do just dimmed over time. I let the negative people, influences and thoughts in my life consume me. Slowly, even the remaining smouldering ambers of determination, were doused. I even gave up the one thing that never failed to make me happy - Dance.

Back then, the pressure to be good got too much for me to handle- I was always worried if I was good enough, if I was doing it the right way, what people thought of me, whether this or that... so much noise. I forgot the reason why I kept on dancing - it made me happy. I got so engulfed by steps and technique that I forgot to enjoy the music, I got so afraid of what people thought of me that I stopped enjoying myself. Weak? Yes I was. I blocked out all that noise by distancing myself away and slowly, dance came to a standstill in my life.

After my downward spiral, of my life in general, to hit rock bottom... I stayed there for a long time. A good 3 years I would say- too damned long. It was only mid 2013 that I finally told myself that I needed to wake up my fucking idea and to stop being that tangled yarn of mediocrity that I was. Fuck what people had to say, fuck the negative people and fuck being so afraid. I don't even know what I was so afraid of, I had nothing and so, nothing to lose as well.

The teenage years of a person is meant to be the prime time of growth, discovery and learning but there I was wilting away to a version of myself that the 16 year old me would have punched in the face. I needed to crawl out of my gutter where I had built a fort of cushions and got too comfortable in.

I started with dance.

It was daunting, no doubt, crawling back to my first class and subsequently signing up for the Reggae item of Recognize recital. It was ego bashing as well- every one around me had improved so much and there I was, this awkward turtle... stuck 2 years behind. But I pushed on, I stayed. It's been more than half a year since I went back to dance and progress has been slow, I don't see a stark improvement, but I'm happy again. Happy to be dancing, happy to have dance back in my life and happy that I'm no longer that mediocre wreck that I feel like punching.

I pushed that boundary again today, finally left my room to train freestyle in front of other people. I'm crap now, really. The only freestyle I've done in recent years was in my inebriated state, with a bottle of alcohol in my hand, on the tables at Mink. But the one thing I'm thankful for, is the fuck it attitude I've gained over my hiatus- in life or in dance. I crave for improvement but now, I focus on happiness. Today's training just made it so much more apparent for me- I know I suck, but I still threw it out there and danced, didn't care what those around me thought. I was enjoying the good beats and having fun. I'd push to be better with these weekly trainings and hopefully size up enough balls to join battles again, but I won't ever forget to enjoy myself.

Wow. I sure as hell didn't expect this dance inspired post to be so much about life, but I guess it all links up. Though my body is tired from those hours of training, my mind was just buzzing with all these thoughts and keeping me awake. Now that I've unloaded all of that noise, I'm getting sleepy again...
So abrupt as it is, GOOOD NIGHT X.


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