So I think I can dance

I used to dance.

I’m not particularly good at it, as in I could never go to Juilliard, but I wasn’t horrible.

This might come to surprise to some, but I used to be THE choreographer at school back in my days.  Mainly because nobody else would risk the embarrassment to do the job, while I, on the other hand, have no concept of shame.

There wasn’t a school show I didn’t dance in or choreographed or both.  I was in every Christmas pageant since kindergarten.  I was on the “dance team”, a handful of dancers teachers would call on to perform somewhere.

I started ballet in kindergarten and took the standard tests for it up to level III before I decided that I didn’t want to be tested any more.  The instructor didn’t seem to mind me continuing to take classes  with everyone without the test.  As a matter of fact, at some point, for the big multi-school production of The Nutcracker, I was taking 3 levels of dance lessons.  Because of my size, I was to perform as the clowns with the girls one level below me.  Then I’d take my regular class and learned all the moves as Clara’s friends. And I followed that with the advance class, but just the regular class but not the choreography.

Anyways.  By 6th grade, I started on pointe.  First of all, I was the only one left in the class who actually haven’t done any testing.  I was also the only one left who actually didn’t have the goal to go to dance school or have a serious career in dance.   I surely didn’t have the long, lean body for a ballerina.  I was there purely because I love to dance.

The instructor didn’t think the same way.  Pretty much, I was given minimal instructions and largely ignored in class.  I didn’t even know I was supposed to break my pointes so that they would flex.  Conveniently for all, my motion sensitivity set in just about the same time.  I mean, I couldn’t even do a double on regular shoes without feeling dizzy.  It was never like that!  On pointe, the dizzy spell was a lot worse.  I would pretend to sit out in class, blaming it on my toes, when in reality I was so dizzy from all the spins I was ready to throw up.   I would come home and lay down for another hour before I can even move.

That was the end of ballet and the beginning of jazz.  I was enjoying jazz thoroughly when the class I could attend was canceled.  Then the school moved to a new location, no longer convenient.

Despite the fact that I was no longer taking classes, I was still called on to dance and choreographed.  I guess because, like I said, I was the only one up for the job.

I came to the U.S. and I was excited that you can actually take dance as one of your classes!  But then I got to visit the dance class and quickly realized that I would be totally out of my league.  And here, who would want me to do anything.  So I retreated to my own private production of dancing around my bedroom.

Sometimes I beat myself up for having to quit proper lessons years ago.  Same regret I had with piano.  But I still love to watch people dance.  I still feel the music through my veins.  As a matter of fact, watching a dance performance, sometimes my muscles would twitch as if they want to dance too.

And my body was doing that when I watch So You Think You Can Dance, my newest TV addiction.

I can never dance like that.  But I was surprised that my criticism from the couch was the same as the experts on the panels most of the time.

It’s not that I have the expertise.  But I FEEL the dance.  If the dancers couldn’t move me, if they couldn’t get me twitching, they’re not conveying the emotions that should be moving the audience.  And that just can’t be a good performance.

SYTYCD thoroughly entertains me and at the same time it breaks my heart that I no longer dance.

But yes, I am planning on getting my shoes back on and get back out there.  As a matter of fact, a few years ago, I took up jazz at the community center.  No offense to older readers, but the class was paced for seniors.  Not what I was looking for.

Nonetheless, I AM planning to take up the classes again. I have done some research and I know where to go now.  It’s just a matter of money at this point.

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