Today I woke up in a very cheery mood. Last night was so much fun!
I do not post much about dancing on the blog, but it is actually a huge part of my nights, weekends, and a lot of time in-between. Sometimes I wonder how I have the energy to keep this site up, since I do most of my writing for it first thing in the morning, and a lot of those mornings are after a late night of practice or game.
Well, the answer is simple. I love sharing not only my stories, but some insight on living a healthy, fun life with you too!
If you have been following HWG for some time now, you might know that I used to dance in the NBA for the Orlando Magic. I spent four seasons sitting court side, traveling and performing over seas, and dedicated a lot of time to what I love to do most. That is where I met Scott, and now share some of our best memories together.
When we moved to Detroit for Scott to pursue a new job with a new NBA team, I was not sure what to expect. I had an open mind and did not really expect to be dancing again. Did I miss it? Sure! Every time I saw or went to a game. There is no other feeling in the world like the one I get when I am about to go out and perform on an NBA court in front of thousands of people!
Once things started to settle, I attended all of the Detroit Pistons home games, with the first one being vs. the Orlando Magic. In a funny way, it was almost comforting and helped me with the transition of moving forward and remembering my time in Orlando. After a few games, I started meeting Scott’s co-workers, and eventually the Dance Team Management and dancers. The fact that everyone was instantly welcoming was such a pleasant surprise.
After another month or so, I got invited to come to a halftime rehearsal to see if I could hang, and possibly perform in a few halftimes with the girls. Why not? I performed in five halftime shows before getting invited to attend a regular dance practice, and within a few more weeks I performed my first routine during a timeout at the game.
I guess you could say I am back in the game, folks!
Being able to dance again is such a blessing. I never really knew how much I loved it until I did not get to be a part of it for the 2011-12 season.
No matter how mentally or physically tired I get (I am officially the oldest on the team!), I remind myself that being where I am today is such a privilege.
It’s not every day that I get to say I danced with Busta Rhymes at halftime!
My point in this is not to gloat. I am so thankful and humbled by the opportunities I have been able to be a part of over the last decade of my life!
What I do want to express is how those opportunities did not happen overnight. When I left my studio in high school, I had no idea I would then go on to dance in college, and then professionally for years to come. I tried out for my college team on a whim, because I missed being a part of a team and performing. After college, I tried out for the Magic Dancers for the same reasons. After moving up north, I had no idea what was next.
Getting to dance again was in no way handed to me, which I know is what some people might assume. It took a lot of courage for me to even show up to rehearsal, much less perform and prove myself as a dancer and performer.
I spent a good few months auditioning to get the chance to perform during the games, and the only way I got there was hard work, perseverance and confidence.
Looking back at my first year in the NBA, I am not sure I could have done what I did this year back then. Five years ago, I did not have the mind-set I have today that I can do it.
Differences Make Us Beautiful
As you might have guessed, that confidence did not come overnight either. When I started performing on court, I had to psych myself up before every game (and even some rehearsals). I told myself that I was there for a reason, and that was good enough.
Some people were good at a certain style, while I had to work harder for it. Some people had perfect hair, while again… I had to work hard for that too. Since that first year, I would say that I am more fit and in shape now that I have ever been… which you know by reading my blog is something I work very hard for as well.
My point? Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses. Everyone struggles. If something seems unattainable, do not underestimate yourself, but instead work hard to get it.
Do not compare yourself to others. That is such a dangerous game! Every now and then I find myself doing it, and nothing results but self-doubt. There will always be someone in your mind that is “better” than you, and instead of using them to bring you down, let them inspire you and lift you up!
You are you, and that is beautiful.
Of course, some of us are more different than others…
But you still gotta’ love them too.
I hope you take this little nugget of advice with you, and take it as a chance to look at everything positive you have going for you. Dreaming hard = working hard. Go get after it!
Now I am off to the salon work on that “perfect” hair again… 😉
Have a great rest of the day!