Here’s a confession. As much as I never intended to get involved with dance (it was always supposed to be my sister and I was supposed to be the one who sang), I really did love it. And it’s exactly how you described it above. Bharata Natayam made me feel graceful and feminine and for once in my life, I could really relay my emotions to my audience. Which is why, every time I felt like this could be something life-changing for me, every time I was close to appreciating it, it was completely stamped out by Malini Aunty. I swear, if it wasn’t because I was the tallest girl in class, it was because I wasn’t graceful or was not trying. I hate when people tell me I’m not trying when I actually am.
So for the eight years of my dance career, I pretty much loathed dance and myself for almost the entire time. I probably would have quit sooner if it was not for my determination to prove Malini Aunty wrong and because I really did like it. But of course, every Friday, it was another blow to my self-esteem. It wasn’t enough that I felt like I was completely ugly in middle school/high school. I had to be told every week how un-feminine I was. So what kept me in it for those last two or three years? I could have easily said, nope, high school’s here, I’m out. Haha, I started to make legit friends in class. Like, really meeting everyone rather than simply acknowledging them. My first REAL friend in dance who made me feel like I wasn’t alone and that I could, if I put my mind to it, stick through it to the end? It was you Harshita (: Dance became fun and emotionally rewarding again because I was happy learning it, knowing that I had a friend to share it with (:
And then, of course, Malini Aunty decided to pull me from the class where I had a group of friends and place me in a different class all together. I knew I was missing a lot of class because of Leo Club and Color Guard, but we were having one-on-one sessions to help me catch up. And then she pulls that. Puts me in a class with pre-teens and it’s back again to how I’m the weakest link. So I did both her and me a favor. I quit.
I regret it of course. I wish I could have stuck through it just like everything else. I NEVER in my life, have given up on something that I’ve worked hard on. IB, Color Guard, etc. Dance was that one thing – it was bittersweet. I felt like a different person when I was performing, but classes made me feel like the largest, ugliest, clumsiest person alive.
When no one’s watching, I still dance a bit. Mostly to remind myself of everything I learned. The expressions, the hand gestures, the poses, etc.
Yup, that’s my story.