I don’t have much to say, except this: EEEEEEP!
Besides getting the routine and the technique down, one of the biggest things I have to battle with whenever I dance in front of an “audience” is (understandably) the haywire nerves; it’s my natural tendency to get all fearful, nervous and what-ify. However, one thing I believe made a huge difference tonight was the mentality I had going into it.
Fear disappears when you’re grateful.
Ever since I came across this little bit of hidden wisdom, it has been stuck in my mind. Gratefulness kicks out fear. Could it be possible? So I decided to give a practical whirl. During the 30 minute drive out to UBC, I started silently listing things I was grateful for… The opportunity to dance. The opportunity to compete. The ability to dance. The determination to improve. The awesome partner I have. The focus to work hard. Then, I roughly traced all the events that led up to tonight…
I’m grateful that my mom decided to become a nurse. I’m grateful she took the job down the street from us, I’m grateful she happened to work enough shifts with Demitri’s aunt so that she invited us to his banquet dinner, I’m grateful I happened to be standing behind Zac who turned around, asked me to dance, told me about the UBC Dance Club and gave me all the details.
I’m grateful that I decided to try it out, despite not being in UBC and still being in high school. I’m grateful I decided to stick with it, even though it was so difficult and frustrating for me in the beginning. I’m grateful for all the amazing teachers I encountered along the way. I’m grateful I happened to be the Advanced class the same year my partner was, and I’m grateful he asked if I wanted to compete in the Gala Ball. I’m grateful that despite the lost sleep, major indecision, second helpings of nerves and a non-existence appetite that I decided to say yes after a week of “thinking it over”.
I’m grateful we worked as hard as we did then, and I’m grateful for the placement we got at that competition. I’m grateful that we decided to keep practicing and dancing together, and I’m grateful we decided to take summer classes. I’m grateful we decided to compete at Gala again this year, and I’m grateful we decided to compete at mini-comp.
I’m missing so many different pieces, like how lucky I am that Vancouver happens to have a great Ballroom scene, or how lucky I am that I’m in a financial position to continue this expensive hobby—but when I sit down and start listing every little detail that led up to tonight’s first place win, I can’t help but think that life cannot possibly be a collection of random, unconnected series of meaningless events.
Tonight I am grateful for opportunities, because life is full of them. Some we take, some we don’t—but when we see an opportunity and decide to run with it, magical things happen. And despite the fear (oh, the fear!), the pain, or the sacrifice, it will be worth it, because you did it. You could have passed it up, but you didn’t. You seized it, and good things come to those who pursue them relentlessly.
Like Chanel winning first place in something. It’s a first first place!