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similar to my inability to comprehend advanced French ballet techniques—with uncontrollable tears(2)

Time:2019-02-23 18:03Shoes websites Click:

Dancer Life Dance failed

“Close in front,” as she says it, my right foot brought my body down slowly, settling in front of my left foot again. It was mundane. Routines like this calmed something inside me. So why am I unsatisfied with how I moved?

Routines like this calmed something inside me. So why am I unsatisfied with how I moved?

I was still fifteen when dancing broke what’s left of my heart.

The center stage is a dream that I picked up, let go, then back up again. This is similar to a familiar routine I picked up when I do secret pirouettes after every dance lesson. For the first time, it will happen in front of hundreds of people. My parents had pined for this as they watched me grow from three-foot to five-foot tall. But I guess, some things just change over time.

Before they would drag me to the living room to dance to a contemporary girl group’s latest single. With dreams of taking center stage when I grow older, they clapped along to the beat and watch me move to my own rhythm. I’ve learned to stand on my toes, spin my weight without puking, and smile through the pain of my soles.

My parents had pined for this as they watched me grow from three-foot to five-foot tall. So for the first time I pliéd in front of hundreds of people, they weren’t there. Maybe my father got impatient and thought, “if I scream at her loud enough, it might break her spirit and ankles for good.” 

My parents had pined for this as they watched me grow from three-foot to five-foot tall. So for the first time I pliéd in front of hundreds of people, they weren’t there.

Tardiness is a trait frowned upon by my father. So being me, I disappointed him for being not able to meet the deadline again. I learned this the hard way, similar to my inability to comprehend advanced French ballet techniques—with uncontrollable tears, confusion on its difficulty, gnawing physical pain, and self-depreciation that Y.A. novelists canʼt begin to illustrate.

Somewhere, somehow, I was sixteen when I found a book about dance that’s not about dancing.

The fingers of my right hand flipped the pages of a contemporary Japanese novelist. Out loud, I read a passage loud enough to send ripples down my soul.

“Dance,” said the Sheep Man. “Yougottadance. Aslongasthemusicplays. Yougotta dance. Don’teventhinkwhy. Starttothink, yourfeetstop. Yourfeetstop, wegetstuck. Wegetstuck, you’restuck. Sodon’tpayanymind, nomatterhowdumb. Yougottakeepthestep. Yougottalimberup. Yougottaloosenwhatyoubolteddown. Yougottauseallyougot. Weknowyou’re tired, tiredandscared. Happenstoeveryone, okay? Justdon’tletyourfeetstop.”

ButIletmyfeetstop, okay? WhydidIletmyfeetstop? DoesitmeanIcan’tdanceanymore? Myankle’sbroken. Mytwostepsarefucked. ImightbefuckedforlifebutImightbewrong.

I was twenty when I traded dancing for fist fights.

When I was younger, my mother would pick up my hands, caressing and glancing over them. “Ang lambot talaga ng kamay mo,” she cooed at me. She pressed my small digits as if it was bubble wrap. As I grew older, a slap from me leaves a red imprint on people’s skin that lasts for 15 minutes. If strangers stole a glance, they donʼt see a lady, but they see an entity of rage. I almost punched my trainer square in the face once while we sparred ‘till the sun went down.

“Bubbly” by Colbie Caliat found its way in our gymʼs playlist. Laughing over the misplaced melody, he did a pirouette like how a person expects a male boxer in his 30s would. I tapped his shoulder and corrected him. “Hindi kuya, ganito kasi ‘yun.” Plié, passé—and then I twirled with gym shoes instead of pointe shoes.

He watched me in awe. At that moment for him, the aggression that is often present on my face disappeared. He saw a glimpse of who I was when I was fifteen…then seven….then three. “Sumasayaw kasi ako dati,” I explained to him, leaving it to that.

For once in my life, my hips didn’t sway for expectations to be met. I framed my face not because I wanted to impress instructors. The body wave I did with disco music playing was for me.

I was barely twenty-two when I danced mended my heart again

Your first love is your first love. Thereʼs nothing that can change that. In life, I found myself entangled with the field of misfits and artists. Writing proses and think pieces on a daily has been my day-in-a-life. The word plié is found in my life through ink, not through movement.  But sometimes, my arms will bend backward and my body will move with a good melody. Last night, I vogued my way to the dance floor while “Mighty Real” by Sylvester plays.

My knowledge of ballet has become a party trick. And whenever I dance, it will be in dim-lit bars with fellow queer people in it. I haven’t stepped foot on a dance studio for seven years. My pointe shoes are rotting somewhere behind my shoe rack. In hindsight, I think my parents have forgotten that I danced in the first place.

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