It's time to share my deep dark secret... are you ready?
Exactly 10 years ago, I was 30 years old and at the maximum age to audition for my dream show, So You Think You Can Dance. The show was "relatively" new at the time, and back then, there hadn't been a hip hop girl on it yet.
I thought... maybe I could be the first one.
I prepared a solo that showed my heart, my passion, and some of my retired breakdancing moves, and practiced it for hours and hours in my Kindergarten classroom. The only person that knew about my audition at the time besides my husband, was my supportive and loving next door classroom teacher, Ms. Stephanie Byers, who is quoted above from her own testimonial of #StopDropAndDance. Steph even flew with my husband and I to UTAH for the audition, and stood in line with me IN THE COLD at 4am that morning.
It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and I had to take it.
When it was finally time, the mob of dancers began to enter the auditorium in groups. We filled out forms, signed waivers, and took some photos. Then it was time to get on stage. Except... it wasn't a solo audition as they show on TV. Instead, they had 10 dancers at a time go on stage, and then they turned on any genre of music, and guess what? You FREESTYLE. For a trained monkey like myself (meaning I grew up playing piano and can learn to play any song, but improvising like Ray Charles and Stevie Wonder is a whole different skill), freestyle dancing was not just unexpected, but a total whammy.
I was completely out of my comfort zone.
Somehow, miraculously, I made it to the second round. Now the real judges came out including Mr. Nigel Lythgoe himself, co-creator of So You Think You Can Dance. Alright. I was ready to do my solo that I prepared and show what I came here for. But to my dismay, round two turned out to be the same format: Freestyle. DOUBLE UGH. Right away I was in my head. Instead of trusting my body and moving with the music, I tried to think of some old routine or sequence to do, desperate to impress, but 100% a fish out of water. And this time, whatever I did wasn't enough, because Nigel cut me. Ouch.
My pride and ego were destroyed and I was too embarrassed to tell anyone.
I am quite a perfectionist in all areas and I don't like to fail. In fact, I usually avoid failure by not even engaging in things I know I am not good at. Therefore, auditioning for So You Think You Can Dance was a huge leap. So huge, that it's taken me 10 years to finally forgive myself and be able to share about my audition experience with all of you.
Stop Drop And Dance was created as a SAFE way for anyone to dance. You don't have to compete or compare with others. You don't have to get all the moves right. You don't need to be perfect.
You DO have to have an open mind. You DO have to have an open heart. You DO have to think less, and feel more. You DO have to try. You DO have to trust.
Will you dance on stage with me?
In just over a month, on March 28th, 2020, we will hold our 2nd Annual Stop Drop And Dance-A-THON in San Francisco, CA. Some of us will dance all 41 songs in a span of 3 hours. Some of us will hop in and out of dancing while grabbing a drink or socializing. This evening is meant to be an experience for you and your friends: a unique, healthier, entertaining way of hanging out on a Saturday night!
If you attend live classes or have danced online and know some of the routines, I invite you to get out of your comfort zone and consider dancing on stage with me for 1-2 songs. Deadline to sign up as a backup dancer is by next Sunday, March 1st, so don't hesitate, just click the button below!
I truly believe that all of our life experiences are lessons. Lessons that help us grow and help us become stronger. I am grateful for So You Think You Can Dance because it celebrates all styles of dancers and choreographers, and it has been a huge source of inspiration to me. I am grateful I had the opportunity to witness first-hand raw talent all around me in that audition auditorium 10 years ago. I am grateful I had the courage to try for something that meant a lot to me, and I am grateful I now see what that experience led me to: Stop Drop And Dance.
PS. If you haven't bought your Dance-A-THON tickets yet, General Admission prices go up on March 15th. Plenty of time still to gather a group of friends and Stop Drop And Dance together! Buy your tickets here: