“We should consider every day lost on which we have not danced at least once.”
Ever since I was 5, I have been given the opportunity to dance. A lot. It started off in Hong Kong because my best friend wanted to take ballet classes. So I decided to take them as well. I thought it was super fun! So even when she quit, I still continued on with my ballet.
When I moved to the Philippines, the dancing continued. I was able to dance ballet more seriously, taking the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) Exams each year. After 7 years of ballet, I realized that it was hard for me to continue, since it felt like I had to work extra hard to match the levels of the dancers in my classes. So I quit.
After ballet, I tried out jazz and modern dancing, which I felt matched my needs more. It was in high school when I explored it, both in the dance studio I had been in and in school. Through my school, from class and in the dance team, I was able to participate in multiple dance recitals and shows. Those few years challenged me greatly. And despite the blood, sweat, and tears, I realized that even after I left high school, I still wanted to continue dancing.
When I started at UW, I tried out for the UW Dance Team. Unfortunately, I didn’t make it. But I still decided to take the weekly classes - until I realized how lonely it was. About the same time, I went to my first FASA meeting and found the Sayaw booth. I approached Cjay and asked her what Sayaw was. I thought it would be great to try something new, as I hadn’t really gotten much exposure to traditional Filipino dancing. Through Sayaw, I was also able to perform in multiple shows, which is one component I missed from high school. Not only was I learning and embracing more of Filipino culture, I was also making really good friends, and finding an outlet of stress relief. This passion to continue fueled my desire to be coordinator of the group.
My last year at UW, I got exposed to a different genre of dance through Kasama. I hadn’t done much hip-hop in the past, so once I got over my pride as Sayaw Coordinator to see what Kasama was about, I fell in love all over again. Hip-hop brought on a new side of dance I definitely wanted to learn more of. This style of sharpness and hard-hitting moves were something new to me. And in the group, I also made really good friends.
Dancing means everything to me. Even though I’m sure I don’t (and can’t) want to make a career out of it or let it be my sole focus in life, I’m pretty damn sure I can’t live without it. It’s my desired activity of exercise, my stress relief, my form of expression..
Maybe, just maybe, a part of me was really meant to be a dancer.