Emma + Molly: Dancing Through Fear
I used to be afraid of a lot. Seriously, the list is so long. I was afraid of the dark, spiders, fire, intruders… all kinds of stuff that probably wouldn’t ever happen. I was even afraid to talk to people. I went an entire year of preschool without speaking to anyone at school. Dance helped me work through my fears and become a strong, self-confident young teen. It allowed me to connect with other kids without needing to actually talk. I got noticed for my hard work and started doing really well in class and competition, and friends respected me. Slowly, over time, I came out of my shell. Now, I talk all the time (even when I’m not supposed to), but it’s all good. My mom always says that “dance saved my life.” That might be taking it a little far, but I know it definitely helped me learn how to comfortably express myself.
I actually did a solo about my fears. In 2016, I was the Overall Winner in the Junior Soloist category for my solo “Fear.” We wanted to tell the story about how fear is a LIAR. It was powerful for me to think about this all year while we worked on the dance and then put it out there in front of everybody and let go of any shame I had attached to it. Now, I’m not afraid of much, although, if I’m telling the full story, I do sometimes get nervous this year at conventions. It is my first year in the Teen room. Several conventions I have traveled to have combined the Teen and Senior room. I’m so inspired by some of the amazing dancers I get to dance alongside now, but I worry that I won’t stack up, or that I’m not ready for this level. I’m hoping the fear pushes me to work hard and slowly make progress instead of stunting my growth. Wish me luck!
This month Spotlight asked that I share about my fears related to dance. To be honest, I’m pretty fearless. I figure I might as well go for it and just “be me” because I really can’t be anyone else. I love performing on stage, and I’m willing to make a fool of myself if it means I’m pushing myself to be better. But I do have to admit, I really don’t like it when my mom watches me at convention. I get nervous because even though I know she is my biggest fan, I’m always afraid she is judging me. I know she wants me to do my best, and when I fall short I don’t want to disappoint her. I do best in convention when I’m on my own without distractions and I can feel free to explore and grow without anyone seeing. It’s been hard to ask her to let me have this freedom because I know she loves watching me dance, but I also know that I will learn best when she isn’t there. I used to be afraid of doing tricks. I’m working really hard this year to overcome my fears about tumbling and I work privately with an acro coach. I couldn’t even do a cartwheel when I was 8 years old, but now I can do front and back walkovers and a front handspring. I can do my aerial on the trampoline and I’m soooo close to getting it by myself on the floor. When you work hard on a skill that you are afraid of and you finally get it, you feel so good about yourself!
You Can Follow Molly on Musical.ly @mollyjeanedwards