When I was 4, my grandma took me and my older sister to go see “Annie” at our local theater. It was my first live show. Grandma definitely assumed it would be a wash taking this little preschooler, however, it was my 10 year old sister that slept through almost the whole show. I sat on the edge of my seat enamored by each song, each line, each character. I came out singing every song and putting on a show any chance I had. That was how my love for performing began.
Sitting in the office at the dance studio and answering the phones, I get to hear the stories from parents and grandparents just like my experience. I hear it in their voice their pride and joy in the daughter’s love for dance. I hear their slight embarrassment when they’re telling me that their 3 year old was just made to perform, but also balancing it with the fact that she’s 3… can they really know? I just smile because, you can know!
I continued my love of performing through elementary school participating in everything I could in church and in school. I sang solos, did skits, put on dances for the talent show. Nothing was ever real great, but I felt alive out there!
Performing became my life line. Middle school kicked in and I suffered from a lot of depression due to abuse and the normal issues that spring up in the life of a middle schooler. I remember some really dark moments and just being in tears, but I knew I had to get myself back up! I had the lead role in the school musical and I loved being out there.
By the end of my 8th grade year, I started feeling more like myself. I decided to surprise my family at our spring concert with my first piano solo (I never took any piano, so Mom was a little worried). The music started out nice and slow and I poured myself into it, swaying and moving with each note. A few notes were out of place here and there, but it was quite good. I looked at my mom and she was completely amazed! The music started picking up getting very fast, and I was all over the piano up and down that keyboard. At this point I could see my mom’s expression change from amazement to being a bit suspicious. My gig was up, so I stood up and took a great big bow while the keyboard continued to play its programmed music. I got a pretty large round of applause and even louder laughter. Most of the people didn’t know the battles I had overcome to get there, and they didn’t need to. I knew that those moments of laughter and joy were why I was still around.
After High School I was pretty set on studying music and becoming a professional musician. My path didn’t take me there. Instead, I got married and started a family. When my oldest saw his first musical, he looked up with his big eyes and said “I want to be that!” He was only 2. He spent weeks performing numbers from “Chitty Bang Bang”. I got him in dance classes as soon as they would take him. He might make it a profession, he may use it as the therapy to get through the rough patches, who knows! But, just like his mom, he was born to perform! I will never question that! No reason for any parent to question that love that is instilled in these guys at any age! It doesn’t have to be their career path to be one of the best decisions you could ever make for your kids.