It’s never too late to un-shelve dream
As a 6-year-old little girl I begged my parents for two things: I wanted to play the violin and I wanted dance lessons. However, during this financially trying time in the Stirling home, purchasing sour cream was a luxury, so my parents told me that I had to choose between the two. As you can probably guess, I chose the violin. I never did have the privilege of taking dance lessons, but I’ve spent the last two decades gracefully twirling and jumping to everything and anything that has rhythm attached.
When I was approached earlier this year about competing on Dance Showdown I was nothing less than ecstatic. I mean, WOW…you mean I get to be trained by a professional choreographer, and then I get to perform full-out dance routines on stage? Um… YES!!
As good as all this sounded to me, it wasn’t that easy to pull-off. I was on the road and I wouldn’t be back in Los Angeles until a few days before our first dance performance. I knew that my partner and I would probably be “behind” compared to everyone else. I started questioning my better judgment: Why had I signed up for this? I was so exhausted with performances, interviews, and an writing music for my upcoming album that there just wasn’t time for anything extra. What was I thinking??? And yet, the little voice from my past…the one that had begged incessantly for dance lessons…convinced me that I had to take this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
So when I finally got back in L.A. I immediately jumped into rehearsal mode. I arrived to our first rehearsal and very first thing Anze taught me was the “scary lift” (yeah…it was scary). I had literally just met this guy and 5 minutes later he has me flying backwards and he’s flipping me up into the air. If an intimate experience like that doesn’t get you comfortable with somebody, I don’t know what will.
From that first day on, we worked EXTREMELY hard. We learned several routines, dancing for up to 7 hours every day. On top of that, I would practice at home in my apartment. My body soon felt like an 80 year after running a marathon; I felt pain all over my body and, consequently, discovered a myriad of muscles I didn’t even know existed.
The days flew by. Before I knew it, it was time to perform and I. Was. Terrified. We had been so rushed in learning the choreography…I just didn’t want to freeze up! As I stepped onto the stage, my body was ridged and my sore muscles as tense as overcooked steaks. But the moment the music began my little heart skipped a beat and I came alive inside. I was definitely no Beyoncé up there but I was having the time of my life! I had worked so hard, I was overcoming my fear, and I was working with an amazing partner. I was living my childhood dream!
Performance over. As we walked off the stage I felt absolutely elated! As I threw my arms around Anze for a victorious hug I honestly couldn’t remember the last time I was that happy. Hahaha yeah, it’s just an Internet show but I was so giddy with joy that you would have thought I’d just won the Grammy’s. There’s nothing that feels so good as setting a goal and exceeding your own expectations.
I have learned that it doesn’t matter how “big” or how “small” our accomplishments are. If we set a goal, work zealously towards that goal, and achieve it, we deserve to feel on top of the world.
Thanks so much for supporting me in Dance Showdown! You guys have made it possible for me to accomplish so many of my dreams and for that I cannot thank you enough.
I’d like to ask for one more favor. I want you to go to your closet and pull out the dream that you shelved. I’m not going to become a professional dancer and I’m not suggesting that you should quit your job to be the pro-basketball player you always wanted to be. What I am suggesting is that you revisit that dream…something you once loved or feel passionate about…and do something with it. Maybe start playing basketball in a city league for fun. Or learn to bake the pastries you always wanted to make. Take the initiative; dust off a dream of the past that has gotten dusty. Doing so may awaken a new passion and zeal for life; you never know where it will take you.