I’m riding a high that cannot be described because I’m not yet sure what part of this is real.
Dancing is never about the outcome. It’s about the journey. Tonight Sorah Yang challenged us to perform something simple — stand there for 6 counts, not doing anything, just staring down the imaginary crowd beyond the mirror. Do a two-step at half time. And you know, even after dancing for almost eight years, I very seldom believed I was sexy. Confident. Worthy. Enough.
Today, it just so happened that our training at the Children’s Creativity Museum talked about “the perils of praise” and how so many of us immigrants’ children experience almost the opposite problem — we don’t get any praise; excellence is expected; anything less is punished and shunned. I grew up like this, and I absorbed this attitude into dancing. Nothing was worthwhile unless I got select, unless I got the combo perfect, unless someone noticed me.
This dance, tonight, was the moment I stopped letting that be my end goal. Tonight I danced for me, knowing that if nobody else saw me, I saw myself for my own worth today. I was enough. Tonight I danced for all the girls and women out there who need a little extra push; no, a complete free fall into the frightening abyss of owning our personhood and our sexuality, for all the times I was fixated on an outcome or I let myself be validated by those around me… Fuck all that.
I just want to tell you that you’re worthy. You’re enough. I’ve been dancing for almost 8 years, and it dawned on me today. This is the feeling that I’ve been longing for. Chasing after. Searching high and low, class after class, set after set, team after team.
If you don’t believe in yourself, try. Fake it until you make it. Own your sexuality. Own your body. Your space. Your personhood and autonomy. That’s what hip hop dance means to me.
I hope I wake up tomorrow morning and still feel worthy. Who knows, I might not. But I damn well know that I’m striving for that feeling I felt for 40 seconds on the floor today. I am worthy. I am sexy. I am alive. I am enough.