Best Foot Forward

My true story of struggling with ballet and finally discovering who I am and what I want to be, starting at the beginning.


4. Hip Hop


Once I began Hip Hop, I was overjoyed. In this form of dance, I could let loose. Dance to my own beat! Kate and her older brothers happened to be in the class, as well as Jane. I loved Hip Hop so much. I am still doing it! My instructor was so much nicer, I can’t describe how she makes me feel… confident? Able? All that mattered was I was actually having FUN.

Meanwhile, things went downhill. I had been feeling off for over a year. The words I could use to describe how I felt would be scared, worried, insecure, afraid, and lost. Very lost. And constantly out of control. I explained to my mother and we went to a doctor. I explained to her, and she immediately knew what was up. I was medically diagnosed with severe Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) and Panic Disorder. Anxiety is hereditary in my family, but for some reason it was way worse. Unfortunately we soon came to the realization that my anxiety would be something I would have to live with the rest of my life. It got much worse over the course of the past year, and soon I had to be put on daily medication for it. My panic disorder worsened too. If someone raises their voice at me or someone else nearby, I can’t help but react by shaking, feeling off, or crying in some cases.

But dance was helping. It was really helping!

I just don’t know what went wrong.

I feel like people hate me. I know they talk about me behind my back. I know that for some reason I’m not good enough and nobody cares about me except at home. Dance was the exception. I felt truly loved for who I am there.

Until this past class.

Nobody seemed to care. For some reason I’m the only one not doing lifts. And when we were in the middle of it, I accidentally made a wrong step and one of the girl hit me in the face. Hard. Hy nose was throbbing but I managed to say “I-I’m s-s-sorry!”

And she said nothing.

She ignored me the rest of the class, as did everyone else.

Am I not wanted anymore?

Is dance not my safe place now?

Am I truly not wanted there?


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