I cannot dance to save my life.
This is a truth I’ve long ago accepted and it has been the 2nd biggest frustration of my life (drawing is the first).
And if you’re really my friend, you know you cannot make me dance in public. This is also weird since I used to be 1/8 of a semi-show band. I think it comes from a deep-seated trauma of being forced (yes, forced!) to join two dance contests in high school and being jokingly ridiculed (but ridiculed nonetheless) by my classmates. And for a secretly awkward and gawky adolescent, it really is traumatic. I vowed to myself that I will never put myself in that position again.
But once my bedroom door is closed, and an incessant beat is raging in my head, it’s a different story. The phrase “dance your heart out” becomes a living, breathing message for myself. (by the way, this is a fact that very few people know about me, until now). I dance like I’m Kayla Radomski (that’s a So You Think You Can Dance finalist for those who don’t watch the show), flailing around the stage, bringing a contemporary interpretation to a Sara Bareilles song. I jump around the room, limbs akimbo, and pretend that I am at a Kaiser Chiefs dance rock marathon. I dance like I’m the only female member of the Jabbawockeez, too cool to just dance to a simple R&B tune so it has to be a perfectly produced remix. Those moments are precious because I can just let go and regardless of whether I was born with actual rhythm or not, it does not matter because there is no one to see or judge or point their finger at me and laugh uncontrollably.
But the most profound moments of my secret dancing life are spent while in the company of other people who don’t know that I am dancing inside. If you happen to see me on the MRT with my earphones bobbing my head to unheard music, then you know that deep inside, I am imagining myself breaking out in a spontaneous dance number to the amazement and embarrassment of the people around me. When I watch amazing dancers in a concert or show, I just smile and tap my feet but secretly, I’m dying of envy and yet I am envisioning myself to be on stage with them. But most of all, in the throes of communal worship with fellow believers, I close my eyes and do a simple, gravity-defying, genre-breaking dance performance for Him, who doesn’t care if I stumble while executing a pirouette, as long as my heart is in the right place.
So yes, you might never persuade me to dance in front of other people, but know that my inner, dancing self is totally sated