By Evyn Wells
Dancing has always been a passion of mine. I remember my dad telling me I used to dance in my sleep as a baby. Anytime I heard music, I could not help the choreography that flashed through my mind and the urge to move my body. Most people would say that I’m a self-taught dancer and I would agree for the most part.
I have only taken two dance classes in my life and I can’t remember any of it because I was too young. After those two classes, I depended on myself to expand my dancing skills. I thought I was getting better as I continued to dance. People would praise my dancing from elementary all the way through middle school. People would tell me, “Wow, you dance so good.” or “Where did you learn to dance like that?” The compliments stroked my ego and gave me an inflated sense of my dancing. It wasn’t until high school that my ego was shot down. A majority of students at my school took professional dance classes and I could tell. Observing the many dance groups, I realized that I may not be as good as I believed I was. This was only reinforced when I introduced to dance as one of my majors for college.
Adults in my life told me that picking dance as my major was not a good idea. They told me they were afraid that I’d be behind due to the fact that most students who apply to be a dance major have been dancing professionally for years. I may have been dancing for years, but I was nowhere near a professional. I felt defeated and broken. The one thing I thought I was good at, turned out to be something I had no idea about. When I got home, I watched videos of dancers and the negativity overwhelmed me. I started thinking to myself, “They are right. I could never dance like this.” I stopped dancing after that incident and schoolwork also prevented me from having enough time for my passion.
I did not start dancing again until the middle of my junior year. My friend and I are fans of K-pop and we wanted to try to learn a dance to a song. As I was dancing, the feeling of happiness filled me up and then it clicked for me. I let insignificant comments dictate my happiness. I got so caught up in how well I dance that I forgot the reason why I even dance in the first place.
I dance because I enjoy it and it’s a way for me to express myself. I dance because it brings joy into my life and helps me destress when I have had a difficult day. I dance because it is a part of who I am. This experience has taught me that I do not need to be the best at everything I do; I just need to find joy in everything I do.