Yesterday, I was asked by my dance teacher to step up front and center to demonstrate her choreography in front of my other classmates.
Even after years of dancing and performing experience, I still get the nerves when having to do something in front of a set of eyes watching you. As the music started to play, my heart raced. All these people had their attention on me.
I began to dance, but I realize that I was not as good as I was when I was with the crowd, shadowed by everyone. I tried to loosen myself up and dance freely, but I still couldn’t make it flow. But it was alright since the choreography was about to come to an end, then I can go back and dance with everyone again.
I forgot the next eight steps.
My mind just went blank. For a few seconds there, I just stood still, with a million “What do I do now?”s floating through my head.
My dance teacher didn’t stop the music. Instead, she stepped in, but did not face me at all. She need not say any words to signal that she was going to lead by dancing in front of me, and that I should follow her and dance the last eight counts together. I remember not hearing a “5, 6, 7, 8”, but we managed to dance together and finish the choreography.
It didn’t feel like much then, because my head was still occupied by my racing heart’s beats. When I thought about it later that night, I realized that that was one of the sweetest things to do.
The teacher saw me do something wrong, but she did not judge me for that. Instead, she silently stepped in and offered help, guiding me to finish the task.
She ended by saying that the reason we’re always nervous when we have to present ourselves in front of others is because instead of focusing on our performance, we’re too busy judging ourselves.
Blueaholic is listening to: The Lion King: 1997 Broadway Cast album