Prompt#2 Tell us about a personal quality, talent, accomplishment, contribution, or experience that is important to you. What about this quality or accomplishment makes you proud and how does it relate to the person you are?
In the last three years I have auditioned for five different dance crews, two dance companies, and one back-up dancer position; I didn't get into any of them. Rejection has become a close friend.
Four years ago, Fanny Pak, a hip-hop/jazz-funk dance crew, inspired me to start dancing. Their style was unique and unlike anything I had ever seen. They had a quirky, refreshing approach to hip-hop dancing, which sparked my infatuation not only for hip-hop dance, but dance in general. Still, I wish I had started dancing when I was five years old, as did my peers in the dance community. It was because of this handicap that I strived to work even harder to catch up. I stretched everyday after school. I took three dance classes a week and got a part-time job to fund them. I watched dance videos on You Tube compulsively. Dance became part of who I was.
Just this past September, I tried out for a renowned hip-hop dance company in New York City. I was one of about seventy dancers crammed into a tiny third-floor dance studio without air-conditioning. There was so little space that I was constantly apologizing to dancers adjacent to me for accidentally hitting them when we were all learning the choreography. When the hour teach was over, I felt relieved and confident; I felt comfortable with the choreography. All I had to do was wait for my number to be called.
I was in one of the last groups to dance. But, as soon as I walked into the studio, I wasn't myself. I saw the five directors sitting behind a table and I instantly forgot everything I had just learned. I lost the confidence I had minutes before, which became brutally apparent in my performance. It didn't come as a surprise when I received an email later that night saying that I didn't get in.
Naturally, I moped. I felt that I was good enough to be in the company, but just wasn't able to perform to the best of my ability when I needed to; my nerves had gotten the best of me. I was so sure that this was going to be my time to make it, and this certainty made it even worse when I failed. That was my eighth rejection. But, my mindset shifted once I realized how much insight I gained from this incident. The audition wasn't a failure, but rather a growing experience that showed me that I needed to work on controlling my nerves at auditions. I kept going to classes, and even talked to the dance company's director to receive feedback.
This most recent rejection helped me realize why I dance and why I pursue art. I have only been dancing for four years, and I'm proud of where I am and how much I have progressed. Dance represents my perseverance. I fully commit myself to my passion, and I keep going, no matter the setbacks. Apart from any logical meaning, I simply keep dancing and photographing because I love it, and I go forward with all my ability to fulfill my passions.