I’m standing backstage in my costume, waiting for my cue.
I pray as I hear the music start, and I get into position on stage. I look to my left and find my best friend waving at me and mouthing words of encouragement. As the beats grow louder and the tempo picks up, my head starts to clear up. The throbbing in my heels starts to die down, and the silence of the auditorium takes over. I sway and twirl as I begin to lose myself, and my only purpose is to make the audience feel what I’m feeling. I allow myself to be consumed by my character’s emotions. This is my moment where I can use my vulnerability as my strength. The stage where I started my journey fades away, and I slip into my imagination. I guide the audience through this experience. They laugh when I laugh and cry when I cry. Time becomes my friend, waiting for me to tell my story. Halfway through the routine, the muscles in my legs start to tremble to insinuate that they can’t take anymore. I hear the bells on my anklets cheer me on. They echo at every turn I make. Pushing my body’s limit to see where it takes me is why I love the performing arts. It forces me to be detail-oriented and self-disciplined. In each practice, the way I choose to emote is different. My mistakes are different, and I continuously learn from them. I embrace the sweetness of this uncertainty, and it never fails to surprise me. I find myself progressing into the last part of the song. The lights start to find their way back into the auditorium, pulling me back into reality. Everyone’s problems and limitations and expectations resurface, where tranquility is replaced with materiality.