Trying Something New

I came into my first semester here at Denison wanting to try something completely new.  I wanted to challenge myself to do something that involved dancing. Why dancing? Well I actually do not partake in it because of the general discomfort I have existing in my body, all my insecurities rush to the surface with the thought of moving my body, my soft flesh jiggling with every move I make. Now you would think that my first step towards my goal of being comfortable with dancing would be doing something more mild, like signing up for a club or even just taking an introductory course.


 I did not do that, instead I came to the decision to go to the dance departments fall auditions.


My logic being: since I know none of these people and have no interest in doing dance as a major, after my embarrassing attempt to move my body I could just disappear into the student body, never to be thought about again. Even with the guarantee that nothing bad would happen to me long term if I auditioned, I still had an anxiety attack hours before the audition. Just thinking of the fact that professors would be actively analyzing my movements, searching for candidate for their performances make me want to stand and thee corner and shrivel up. After recovering from the labored breathing and the tears I shed, I made up my mind to walk into the auditions with a 'so be it' mentality. I had accepted my failure and decided if I was going to fail I was at least was going to give it my all.


I never thought I had a chance to be casted, I have no dance background and have the coordination of a newborn giraffe, and I fell multiple times during the audition.

 By the time it was all over I was just satisfied that I had survived the experience and pushed myself so far outside my comfort zone that now -perhaps- I would be a little more open to dancing at parties. 


A couple days later I received an email that I had been casted.

 It was such a shock that I had no idea what to do with myself. I contemplated not accepting the offer. Not because I was not excited by the opportunity, but because the opportunity itself involved a larger audience watching at the end of the process. I was still scared out of my mind, but something panicked me more than the reality of performing, it was the possibility of regret. I was worried I would regret saying no to this opportunity. So I signed on to a performance with the dance department spurred on by my willingness to risk my comfort for the small chance of experiencing something entirely new.


My experience performing has been the highlight of my first semester here at Denison. I could go on for days on how the whole experience has impacted me. None of it could have been possible if I had not pushed myself though my discomfort, insecurities and anxiety attacks. Pushed myself far enough to give myself the head space to come to the conclusion that even if the worse outcome occurs I should not let that deter me from all the positive possibilities.


Try something new. Bring down the barriers you set for yourself. Do something that scares the life out of you, because you never know what good can come from it.