I Believe in Dancing Like No Ones Watching and Smiling Like Eveyone Is

Samantha - St.Louis, Missouri
Entered on December 23, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

Most dancers, the really good, talented, passionate, soon to be professional dancers, start dancing somewhere between the ages of three and eight.

I decided I wanted to start dancing at the age of fifteen.

Needless to say, I was more than a little late in getting started, but I was determined. After years of claiming a “Tomboy” persona throughout elementary school, doing things such as playing pee- wee football in a league where I was the only girl to often refusing to sit with other girls at lunch, it was about time I got into something that was a little more girly.

I grew out of my awkward Tomboy phase in middle school and started hanging out with a lot of other girls, wearing skirts, begging my mom to let me try make-up, basic pre-teen girl stuff.

But something never quite felt right, I still didn’t totally fit in, didn’t really feel accepted and so when High school came around, I decided I wanted to be on the Drill team, or be a Cheerleader. So I tried out for both and didn’t make… either. I was crushed.

I knew it was because I hadn’t had any prior dance experience, something almost every other girl my age seemed to posses and I was upset with myself for not choosing to do it at a younger age and denying myself the experience.

At the time, I thought there was nothing I could do about it, my window of opportunity had long since closed, but then my dad signed me up for a dance class at COCA, something I had wanted to do since middle school. The class I chose was Musical Theater Dance, mostly because it sounded fun and really simple. Despite my assumed simplicity of the class, I was extremely nervous my first day. I walked in there knowing everyone would be better than me, something I was not used to experiencing.

The class was hard. Really really hard. I didn’t know the names of the moves and I just kept messing up on everything, I wanted to quit and I told everyone I wouldn’t perform in the recital. But everyone pushed me and told me I was doing great.

So I did the recital and I did an amazing job in it and loved every single second of it. It wasn’t until after the recital that I was told something that the teachers and my dad had been keeping from me, the class wasn’t Musical Theater Dance, it was Musical Theater and Advanced Jazz Three combined. I was stunned and so was everyone else when they learned I had never danced before.

Now, I dance at Dance Inc. two nights a week. I’m by no means amazing or even really good, but I try and I push myself to be the best I can be and when I perform, I just go out their and dance for me and put on a show because I enjoy it.

I learned that you can do anything if you put your mind to it and try, but the most important is that you have fun while you do it. You laugh and smile and enjoy the experience of learning.

You just have to be yourself and dance how you want to dance, not for any one else or what they think and while your doing it you smile like you are putting on the biggest show of your life. Even when you are just walking down the street, walk with confidence and smile like everyone is watching you, but don’t worry about what they think.