At the time I quit Drill Team, the Orchesis dance company rehearsals were beginning. I didn’t grow up dancing. I grew up playing sports. Once I got to high school and saw how cool the Orchesis and Drill Team girls were, I wanted to be that. I took every dance class my high school offered, did summer camps, and I worked really hard. I auditioned for Orchesis, and failed twice before I made the company my junior year. This was a great group of dancers, led by an even more wonderful director, and I was in actual awe that I got to be among their ranks. Our big dance showcase was in the spring, entitled Orchesis Goes Downtown.
For the first time in a long time, my mom was planning to come and see me perform. I bought tickets for my parents and knew this was a difficult outing for her to navigate. Her weakness and the extent of her illness was way more evident when she was out of the house. I was in the opening number of the show. The night they were to attend, I stood in the wings, with my eyes fixed on their empty seats. Suddenly, I saw another couple come in and sit in my parent’s seats. I started to panic as I watched my parents enter the darkened theater. My dad started helping my mom navigate the steep stairs as they descended to their row, right in the center of the theater, best seats in the actual house.
When they got to the row, my mom was obviously winded and leaning into my dad. Someone else was in their seats. I started to leave the wings and my friends held me back and pointed out that our director was heading to the situation and would smooth things over. The house lights came on. I held my breath. It was a good thing my director sorted it out and got my parents into their seats because our first number was a street scene in the city and I was dressed as a prostitute. I can only imagine the actual shock to the entire audience if I popped out of the wings in my leopard and spandex ensemble! The house lights went down and the music started. I patted my swelling tears back and took the stage. I danced for my mom and it felt incredible to know she was there. I wanted her to see me and to be proud.