Photo by Suzy Allman in the Vogue Article “Ballet Beautiful”
“So I travel back, down that road,
will (it) come back, no one knows,
I realize…it was only just a dream…”
—Nelly, Just a Dream
What is the craziest thing you’ve ever wanted to achieve? What is the biggest, most impossible dream you had? That one thing, that you always wanted, but never thought you’d ever have? See, for me, that was always dance…
Not even ballet in particular, dance. Hip hop, lyrical, jazz, classical ballet…I just loved dancing from the time I was 5. And I was told that I wasn’t born for it (meaning I had the wrong body, or not enough talent, or both), and that I’d grow out of the idea eventually.
I did, for a while, although dance was always there on the background of my life. I watched every dance movie. I tried some dance clubs in university, and eventually gave them up. In any case, when it came to dreams, I never second-guessed following mine. I wasn’t always sure in myself, but I was always sure in one thing- I have to try fighting for the things I want, or else I’m going to regret it for the rest of my life. I don’t think I’m the best at things, but when I get a dream, I am ready to work on it as hard as it takes for as long as it takes. When I want something, I go for it, ALL in.
But life changes, evolves.
By the time I take my first dance class last year, a lot has changed. I have just came out of a period of a lot of changes, a lot of falls, and about a year of depression-may be even 2 years. By that time, I am barely certain in anything I am doing. I have also just gained about 30 lbs over my regular weight. I’m 5’5” and 154lbs at the time, and fact is, for a year, I have had no exercise and minimal movement at all. I’m all kinds of “out of shape”. During the depression part(combined with social anxiety, as it happens) I had squashed my self esteem and sense of self down and down, until I couldn’t recognize myself. So at some point I stopped dreaming outrageous things, I stopped imagining being the best, or extraordinary. I would have been content with being regular, but at that point I was sure I am way below. I stopped being able to imagine …anything beyond my current reality at the time.
I always imagined my journey with dance will begin with a dream. It would begin with imagining myself being amazing dancer, and throwing everything I can in working towards that.
THAT is not how it goes.
Since I have squashed my self esteem that much down, I am unable to at all see myself as a dancer. NOT-happening. But, I do go to a dance class- 1 dance class, random dance class that I found on the internet. Not because I can entertain the idea of truly being a dancer- I can barely entertain the idea of wearing tights at the time. It’s just pure instinct. I’m still pretty depressed, low on money, reluctant to socialize in a new city, and completely unsure in everything about me. My life is a mess. THIS is not the time for dreams.
But I’m tired of just going through days waiting for something to change. I’m tired all the time, in fact. It’s September 2013, I’m 24 years old, and I’m tired all the time. Hopeless. I have lost hope, just as my life has finally becoming better. By that point, I’m just too tired to trust that things will ever be normal. Me, the girl that was all about dreams. So I randomly look for things on internet and somehow get to the idea of dance class. Not because I think I can actually do it, but simply because I need to get out of my head a little. When I go to the first class, I am sure I don’t belong there. I am even more sure that this is the worst time to do this. Forget being a dancer, I simply can not even imagine being in that class, even though it’s recreational. I don’t want to get to know the people there, or care about them. I don’t believe I can fix my body. Nothing about this seems right.
I can’t dance, period.
A part of me remembers, though. Somewhere down, under the depression and the insecurity, a part of me remembers that once upon a time I used to dream. And dance was a part of that. So if there is anything that can get me out of the hole that I have dug myself into, it should be dance. Even though I don’t believe I can do it. Continue reading