There are moments in our lives where we feel like rock stars. When I was in kindergarten I took a newborn lamb for show-and-tell one day. My uncle owns a farm and in lambing season sometimes we’d get a few abandoned little-uns to take home and bottle feed until they were plump and ready to survive on their own. On that day, at age 4, I was a rock star.
I began dance classes a year later, and in my early to mid-20s I was still attending the same dance school. This dance school perfectly suited my ‘average’ dancing abilities. Unfortunately it’s not natural talent, but mechanical learning that means I have any rhythm as an adult. It wasn’t a terrible dancing school, it just wasn’t where professional dancers got their start. But that place was where I grew up. I loved the dancing. Sure, there were some not so fun parts: exams could be excruciatingly nerve racking, ditto the concerts where everyone was watching (though in reality, it was probably just my mum).
But when you’ve been somewhere for years and years, and you’re older (a big fish in a little pond), there is that feeling that you’re a bit of a rock star. In my teens I’d dutifully helped out with the younger classes and took my teaching exams… it was just the natural progression of things. Quite often at concerts, in addition to my 4-6 class dances, I was also either filling in, actively involved in my pupils’ dances, or had scored myself a solo (true rock star status). I was flying on and off the stage, with up to 10 different costumes in one night, with a horde of people tasked to assist me dressing and undressing, sometimes side of stage, because I was just everywhere.
The other seniors and I took over the premier dressing room at the bottom of the stairs each year for the annual concert (no squeezing through hordes of small children for us superstars). We’d shut the door and change our costumes and fix our hair and yak and try not to get chocolate on our sequins and frills, or forget when it was time to go onstage. It was an exhilarating, giddy experience mixed up with the nerves that jangled the second you stepped from the pandemonium of backstage to the eerie silence of the auditorium.
I remember heading off to high school the day after dress rehearsal and concerts… with half my make still on (intentionally) and feeling super sexy… because bright blue eye shadow is super sexy… right? Oh… damn… it’s actually not.
I remember the younger kids peppering me with questions backstage about how many dances I was in or how many medals I had. I remember mothers stopping me at shopping centres and telling me how they loved to watch me dance and that their children looked up to me. I don’t think it helped my dancing as much as it inflated my ego.
But I think it’s important that there are times in your life when you feel like a bit of a rock star. I only have fond memories looking back (let’s all forget about that time I fell of a chimney onstage, ok! And the time I perfomed a tap-dance at McDonalds on McHappy Day.. and my ex boyfriend happened to be working). Since my mum sent me the USB stick of many of my old dancing concerts in my Christmas box recently, I’ve been reminiscing a bit – the excitement, the nerves, the friends – it was a great time of my life. I’ll never forget it.
And best of all, now I have something to keep me busy through the long Covid-lockdown Christmas holidays. That is… re-learning all my childhood dances, and remembering the euphoric moments when I felt like a rock star.