It was during the High School Entertainment Awards ceremony, every corner of the auditorium was pitch-dark except the stage that shown a bright spotlight on each of the five of us on stage. Save for occasional shrills whistles and cheers piercing through the darkness the entire auditorium was dead silent so much so I could make out fevered breaths of my opponents. We all waited with bated breath as I labored hard to hold my composure.
My mind raced ever so wildly at the thought that I could well eclipse Martha two years in a row champion and potential valedictorian. And the winner is a wild cheer pierced through the air! Martha is pretty amazing. She holds a Jiu-Jitsu black belt she niggles the trombone which such amazing expertise and she is a fine maestro at conducting the orchestra ensemble. Many believe she was born talented and yet, talent is not remarkable. Everyone says it without giving it a second thought, you’re so talented! without incising the deeper meaning of the word.
The manifestation of talent is as a result of a combination of several factors. Of utmost primacy are blessings, support and development, sheer hard work and relentless dedication. My talent is in dance. One! Two! Three! Four! Turn up! Pull up! Toes pointed and head erect! These calls and corrections are synonymous with my life. Dance to me eclipses playing hop-crotch amongst friends on the playground. It has been my enjoyment since I was a toddler when I left my parents in stitches as I swayed awkwardly my torso at any semblance of music.
Over the years, through my parent’s guidance, I learned and enjoyed dancing to all genres of music from jazz, ballet, hip-hop, tap, contemporary, lyrical, and heels. Soon, after six years of dedicated dance practices, I started getting opportunities, and first I performed at Staple Center, Disneyland, Magic Mountain, and around my hometown community. I learned to adjust into serious dancing and as well as my personality. In fact, I found out that dance inculcated similar traits I needed to survive and excel in school dedication and hard-work. Above all, I have always cherished the opportunity to work as a team and learn from others.
My team-work effort soon earned me a slot with Shooting Stars Dance Company, Los Angeles Dance Magic, and West Ranch High School Dance Team. Indeed I gained valuable music and dance lessons. However, the greatest achievement was the culture I was acquiring lifelong lessons that have continually shaped who I am today. Of utmost primacy are discipline, dedication, team-work, adaptation, learning, listening, and empathy.
It got to a point where everything I did and does revolve around this lifelong lessons. It may be the reason as to why soon I climbed up the ranks to teach dance at LA Dance Magic where I worked to set up competitions, assisted teachers, helped out with the classes, and traveled throughout the country. Each day was filled with long and gruelling dance practices, tense sessions and infuriated teachers. Exasperatingly, there were times I would find myself on the cusp of quitting but the thought of what I would accomplish kept me going through sweat and blood.
This pattern’s repetitions were relentless, and as soon as I settled into some rhythm and comfort, I would be plunged immediately into new bewildering challenges that tested my resolve to the core. Each time, it took years of experience what I had learned as a dance and a person to manoeuvre through it. Indeed, with each step, my repertoire grew, and I started gaining maturity and temperament.