Forever a small fish in a big pond

Friday, 10 March 2017

Stepping back out there

As a child, I pretty much had what anyone would see as a normal childhood. With the exception of the obvious- as well as a few medical obstacles to overcome on occasions, I was just about the same as everyone else. My family never agreed to wrapping me up in cotton wool, so I was always doing what any other child would. If there was an after school club you'd be certain I was in it- dance especially was one of my favourites. I'd go home everyday from class and practice in front of the mirror until I got it perfect. As a club we attended many festivals and competitions... I was in my element. I found a confidence every parent would wish for for their child. There was even a time I would fantasise about a career in my newly found hobby. 5 years of shows, routines and after school practicing... I never would've thought the love I had for the stage could come to an end. But my primary school world soon got left behind.... With my dance shoes in it!

There's many lessons that secondary school teach you, some being more liked than others however all playing an equal role of importance on the curriculum timetable... However,I had one that wasn't on the timetable, one that I'm pretty sure there's no textbook for either......Words hurt......A lot. As could be expected , I was bullied for almost three years straight starting the minute I stepped in as the new girl. My confidence crumpled and soon I began to loose interest in what was once important. It became a daily occurrence and although they had little knowledge of my life on stage, the words they said would echo as I stood in front the mirrors. Soon I couldn't even look anymore. Everything I had grown up with... Everything I knew. Everything that made my childhood "normal". They took it all.

Fast track to September 2016, a year after leaving my storm cloud of a school behind- I guess you can say I'd moved on a little, now approaching adulthood with a newly found love in my career of youth work, with ambitions to develop this further at university... It's fair to say that from somewhere I had rebuilt my confidence a little. Words didn't hurt so much anymore. I still heard them. Everyday in fact. However slowly they began to get quieter.... But this was soon to be challenged at a work shift very close to home.

On 24th September 2016 we took our youth club dance troop to attend a competition, I was only there to help with hair and makeup but still the experience brought so many memories back, the excitement, the nerves, the last minute rush of both teacher and dancer as you get called up next... As I saw them perform and watched as they received their medals for 2nd place, I began to miss sharing their shoes. It was the first time I'd really ever thought about dance for a while, but watching the love they had for what they did made me want to turn back time so bad....... Almost 6 years later, part of me still felt as if I could pick up from where I left off- it all seemed so clear, one song in particular played and I saw myself in my very first show, I still knew every move. But was I finally ready to get back out there? 

March 2017.... The troop are preparing for yet another competition, but this time I'm not needed.... Well not for hair and makeup anyway! After weeks debating, multiple mind changes and quite a lot of convincing from my crew and teacher, I took the plunge. I kicked fear in the @$$ and took ownership back of what had once been taken away. The shoes still fitted.

It hasn't been easy.... In fact it's fair to say it's been anything but, there's been tears, tantrums and more than a few occasions of self doubt, but with the mirrors in front of me, slowly one move joined with another, and the sound of our music would slowly begin to drown out the voices which after all these years still fought to be heard. I'm not the quickest. It's taken a while for me to learn the ropes and even now I still have hurdles both physical and emotional- some of which I know may not ever go away.... But that's ok, because neither will the confidence I found again in a lifestyle I loved then.... And love even more now.

Our competition ranking is yet to be known but one thing that has been confirmed. Bullies. You lost❤️


Audacity dance crew (new and old)- thank you for inspiring me and for welcoming me in a way I'd never known before. Thank you for making me feel at home and for always making it so easy to get back up once I fell. Not only have you guys taught me everything I know In our routines, but you have also taught me drive, passion and determination.... And I couldn't ask for anything more in a dance crew..... Here's to the year of the gold💛

Anne-Marie- When I'm caught up in the challenges and frustration we face, it's sometimes easy to forget that I'm not the only one took on a challenge. You too took on the unknown and faced it with everything you had. You promised me on day one that you would be there every step of the way and man you sure haven't disappointed. Even when it feels like the hardest thing in the world, it's yet so easy to step out there when you've got someone so strong, so passionate and so inspiring leading you the way. Thank you for seeing in me what I never could. Thank you for making it happen❤️
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