My co-worker Marlene requested via the blog Facebook page for me to post a picture from my freshman year of high school. Since pictures from this extremely awkward part of my life seem to be nonexistent, I decided to post a screengrab from a DVD instead.
So, why is that I’m wearing a hideous multicolored dress and look like I’m constipated? It’s well-documented that student government and journalism were my life in high school, but freshman year gave me an accidental introduction to…dance class! I wasn’t supposed to be there. Long story. Anyway, I was a mess in that class, as I always required extra assistance from the instructor, our TA, and fellow classmates. It all led up to me performing in three numbers in four shows at the end of the year. Our Dance 1 first period class performed a tap number to Hairspray‘s “Welcome to the 60s” and a jazz routine to “Love Shack” by The B52’s, pictured here. A dance alumnus also worked with us weekly to put together a tribute to some musical artists who had passed away. Half of our class danced to Nirvana‘s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” and the other half danced to a couple of Bob Marley tunes. I was in the Bob Marley bit.
Surprisingly, I didn’t do so badly performing in front of the large crowds. When it was all said and done, I felt proud of myself for trying something new, and I gained a new appreciation for the art form of dance. As much as I wished I could join Dance 2, there wasn’t enough room in my schedule and definitely enough time as I threw myself and completely immersed myself in leadership and working for the student newspaper for the next three years. I did continue to support the dance program as a lover of the arts and as a school spirit representative and to watch my best friends who eventually took the classes too. I also eventually took some dance classes and workshops here and there again, in college and at the Metronome Ballroom (Now the Metronome Dance Collective) in San Francisco.
I have a lot of stories from my freshman year, but basically, all you have to know is that back then, I viewed high school as my version of Hollywood. A lot of the upperclassmen and the popular kids were like famous actors to me and every time one of them talked to me, I felt SO. COOL. And I felt even cooler being able to participate in things like homecoming and going to football games. Oh, and I had a crush on this one senior dude for the entire year. That’s the thing I remember most about my freshman year.
Honestly, 2002-2003 was good. When I think about it, I cringe at myself sometimes—how I acted, what I thought, but never at what I accomplished. I wouldn’t have traded all that awkwardness and weird new experiences for anything.