I Don't Dance… Maybe

By Claire Campbell

When people talk about their fears it usually has to do with something that makes them uncomfortable. Heights. Uncomfortable. Insects. Uncomfortable. Public speaking. Uncomfortable.

For me, my greatest fear and greatest discomfort is being on stage – for anything. But specifically dancing.

My history with dancing before I danced on stage is brief. My first dance experience was when I was 8 years old; It was a tap dancing class. I don’t remember wanting to take tap dancing lessons. I think my mom thought it would be a good experience for me. After only a month, my mom suggested I quit.

I tried again in sixth grade with a program called Dance Assembly where 12 year olds learned the basics of various ballroom dances. I kept tripping over my partners and bumping into them. The only reason why I kept going to lessons was because we had already paid for it.

After that I didn’t dance for a while.DSC_0121

I always liked dancing and wished I had the talent, but I accepted it as one of those things that some people are good at and some people aren’t.

About three and a half years ago I started my freshman year at UF.  I joined the Vietnamese Student Organization and signed up for their big/little program. The VSO officers paired people up based on interest and personalities. I ended up being paired with Kate as my big. Marcus and Thomas had Kate as their big too, so they were my co-littles.  

I’m not sure how it came up, but my big and my co-littles planned on preforming for the Tet Trung Thu show, which is the cultural performance that VSO hosts during the fall semester.

I was up for it because I was going to be with my VSO family and I still really liked dancing.

We all went to the first few practices together. But after the second week, my co-littles stopped going to the dance practices and eventually my big stopped going too. They were too busy and had other things to worry about.Everyone was welcoming and there were other novices that had signed up too, so I kept at it.

When it came to the day of the performance, the VSO dancers all sat together. We got called backstage a few performances before we had to go on. I almost cried. I almost didn’t go. I asked for hugs from some friends I had made and when the music cued for our entrance, I sucked it up and went out there.

The choreography lasted less than a minute and I messed up, but I did it and got out of my comfort zone.

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