When performing on a stage, you share your passion with others, and it is one of the best feelings. I started performing before I can even remember. My mother used to tell me a story of how when I was maybe three years old, she and my dad lost me at the park. They eventually found me doing what I loved most, performing! The fact that it was on top of a picnic table for a couple of older men doesn’t mean anything... Let’s move on. I performed whenever I could, usually upstairs in front of a big mirror, music playing from my parents’ records, while they watched TV downstairs.
When my older siblings brought dates home, I saw it as an opportunity to perform! I had a new audience! It was just the three of us, the teenage couple on the couch, and me dancing it up, just a few feet in front of them. I am sure it was awkward for my siblings, but they probably deserved it! My mother finally caught on to the subtle hints I was giving and signed me up for dance lessons.
I loved dance classes, but it was performing that I looked forward to the most. Dancers can at times, stress a lot about the performance. And I would, (and still do!) get nervous right before going on stage. (That’s actually a good thing). But once the lights hit, it’s magic! On occasion, it’s you out there just hoping you don’t mess up. That’s how it is at times. It can be paralyzing! But then you just have to let that go, and love what you are doing. Love the dance more than you fear failure. Once I learned to do that, I never looked back.
Did I still mess up at times? Yep! Did I forget a step or two? Uh huh. Over the years I have had shoes break, wigs fly off my head, fake fingernails break off, costume malfunctions, mustaches not stay put, and music start at the wrong part. Once, I was supposed to shoot my “cowboy” dance partner with my gun but couldn’t find it, so I shot her with my finger, only to figure out a few counts later the gun was in my other hand!
I learned from each of those mishaps I had on stage, too. Sometimes through tears. More often with laughter. But always with fond memories and gratitude that I took the opportunity to dance.