Wednesday, February 29, 2012

So You Think You Can Dance?

I started dancing at the age of five (ballet and tap) but the teacher quickly recommended my mom transition me to jazz since my feet were bad and I wasn't very flexible (aka I had no future in dance).  I began jazz in second grade and I absolutely LOVED it.  I went to the San Marino Dance Academy where all the other very well off girls from San Marino were enrolled in numerous classes.  When our annual recital rolled around, I remember one of the pretty blonde girls asking me how many numbers I was in.  I told her, "just this one."  "Oh, you're so lucky, I'm in like five," she said.  "Me too," another girl chimed in.  They rolled their eyes in unison as if to show me how awful it was to be so privileged.  I was a bit jealous and from then on, I started noticing them more.  They were really pretty.  They had crimped hair like Evie on Out of This World.  They wore push-down socks.  They had neon shoelaces in their hair.  But it baffled me that they didn't even want to be there.  They giggled to each other as the teacher was talking as my goody two shoes self focused on the teacher's instructions.  And when the recital was over that year, I remembered being sad but these girls?, they were quite relieved.  As if the huge burden of being in so many dance numbers had finally been lifted.

I left the San Marino Dance Academy in fourth grade for a local Arcadia one.  I continued dancing throughout middle school on the Dana drill team and red (that means we competed) dance team.  It was so much fun.  I made so many new friends, memories, and learned what foam curlers were (yeah, you remember that Genny?)  We won our first competition at Rancho Cucamonga High School, and even beat our rival middle school at Magic Mountain (but we missed the trophy ceremony cuz we were a bunch of airheads having too much fun).  In high school, I joined the Orchesis Dance Company my junior year of high school.  We danced from 7-8 AM every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and we had first period class as dance.  In addition, beginning in February, we had after school and weekend (Saturday AND Sunday) practices.  We were a dance company that was completely professional and even received special school credit for it.  Our teacher was a former Clippers girl and UC Irvine dance major, so we were in good hands.  She pushed us extremely hard and taught me a lot, but at the end of the year, I decided to pursue other extracurriculars instead.  Secretly, I was relieved that my insane dance days were over (so I could focus on SATs, AP classes and college applications clothes and boys).  I initially looked back at my Orchesis experience in disgust and regret... wondering why I ever dedicated so much time to it.  In many ways, I was not far from those Academy girls from my childhood.  And lastly, I had a short lived membership in a dance club I helped form where we performed hip-hop in baggy raver pants and taught a bunch of drill team students their annual spring dance routine.

I thought dance was behind me when I graduated high school over ten years ago.  But then I got to college and saw ballroom.  I was enthralled.  I tried out immediately and learned everything from the waltz to the tango to the cha-cha to the rumba to the foxtrot.  I lived and breathed ballroom.  I went to ballroom dance competitions on the weekends, ballroom dance camp in the summers, I took as many lessons as I could fit into my schedule, and in my free time, I hung out with the ballroom team kids (and we are weird.. trust me) with our fake eyelashes, sparkly everything, and did I mention I blinged everything including my wallet and phone?  Eventually, I started to stress out about ballroom and academically I wasn't doing so well (I got a C in Statistics... boo Stats).  I knew my future post college would not be entirely ballroom, so I made the difficult decision to quit the team and take my college education seriously (no, I was not able to do both... accounting classes are always in the morning which conflict with ballroom team practices).  And so dance was behind me once more.

And that was probably the last time I danced seriously.  Because clubs and around home.. those don't seem to count for much.

So guess what?

I'm dancing again.  I volunteered to teach some classes to girls at Church.  I have no idea if anyone will come back for more, but I have been so excited preparing for it!  We'll see how it goes.... Here's what inspired me...Genny's post here.

I made a flier...

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