A media colleague once featured me as a multi-artist—that’s in his article about an international award that I received from the United Federation of Fil-Am Educators. In a way, his ‘multi-artist’ regard of me is true, but not all the way.
Of all the arts—visual arts, plastic arts, literature, dance, music, and drama—dance is my handicap. I’m never good at it. I’ve tried it countless times already, out of fun, but just in private. I don’t remember doing it in public, except during our P.E. in college which required us to present a dance performance. Good thing it was a group performance because I was just trying to hide behind my classmates.
Indeed, dance is a form of art using bodily parts to create various movements that respond to musical beats. Supposedly, anyone with no hearing impairments can dance to rhythmic music. But I just can’t do it with gracefulness. My movements are so awkward I start to feel dizzy in the process. And once dizziness strikes, I feel like tumbling down to the floor, losing my balance.
Imagine if it happens in the midst of a dance venue. How embarrassing it would be! Not quite injurious had it happened in my youth when my joints and bones and muscles were still strong. But if it happens to me now when the said faculties no longer cooperate well, I might end up in the hospital.
How I admire those great dancers whose bodily movements prove superb. They really can bend and swing and tango, etc. Some are so gifted they can perform any dance with mastery, blending their movements with the beats of musical background. They either interpret the music or express their thoughts and emotions in the process, making dance an effective form of communication.
Given appropriate attire, they can communicate themselves better through their skillful dancing. I sometimes imagine myself being in their shoes, doing the same moves, expressing the same emotions, but the fact remains—I’ll never be able to perform even their simple moves for reasons that I do not possess the same artistic impulses that they have.
Our mother used to tell me that when it comes to dancing, my legs are both right legs, or left legs, and could not then carry me on the dance floor. Forcing myself will just lead to injury. I think I could only agree. Even when I was still a little child, dancing never crossed my mind. I’d rather paint, draw, write, or play a musical instrument, or sculpt an object. But to dance, no way.
During my elementary years, then, when my teachers would ask me to join some dance groups to perform in programs and special occasions, I always refused and would resort to crying when forced to do so. Dancing is never for me, and this I had realized early on. Yes, I am a multi-artist as my colleague describes me—but just exclude dance.