Point Nine: What was your favourite activity as a child?
My Sister and I were really blessed as children, our parents opened us up to many possibilities and options when it can to extracurricular activities, but Dance was pretty much our life. We danced pretty much everyday of the week and competed at weekends.
Dance was the only thing I ever got lost in. Any emotion I felt no matter what it was, I took myself to the studio and just danced until I couldn't walk anymore. I had to give up dance aged 17 due to my rapidly decreasing health issues. It wasn't until I got my official EDS diagnosis aged 20, that I was told I should have never danced and certainly not to the level I did, because it has made my condition so much worse.
To this day, I am still finding myself when it comes to an emotional outlet and self expression, now I am disabled. Dance was my life and that is how I expressed myself and alleviated anything and everything emotionally. Not being able to dance any longer is the main reason I blog, to express myself through a different art form as freely as possible. Losing the physical ability to dance has had a massive impact on my life, to the point where I can't watch dance on TV because of the guilt, anxiety and depression it plunges me into. Aged 17, it really did feel like my whole life was being ripped away from me and I guess that's something I will always have to live with, the "what if?".
I distinctly remember the Goodman's competitions, in Hemel Hempstead. The thump of the baseline through the speakers flowing freely through the floor and rising through my body. The actual music would completely fade away until only the baseline and my pounding heart remained. My mind would zone out entirely and my bodily instincts would just take over me. The only way I can describe it is like a form of meditation, it would consume me mind, body and soul and I never wanted it to stop.
Due to the severe trauma I suffered in my teens, I allowed Dance to become my sanctuary. When I was dancing no one could touch me, it was the one thing I held onto and the only thing no one could take away from me. Nothing and no one could stop my body from moving or make me feel the way I did when I stepped onto the floor/stage or studio. So much so, that I pretty much lived in dance gear, I owned more leotards, leg warms, foot thongs, ballet and pointe shoes, tan tights, etc than normal clothes.
I used to hate dancing in shoes. I had to feel the floor and it is undoubtably where my foot phobia comes from. I don't know any dancer at my level, who didn't have fucked up feet in some way. Our feet were always blistered, cut open, sore, red, dry, cracked, twisted, strapped, sprained and dirty. At the time it felt so right, if they weren't damaged you weren't working hard enough! But over the years of seeing all sorts of sights, it became an actual phobia, a phobia which Anthony finds absolutely hilarious!
There is not one aspect of my dance career that I would change. If anything I wish I could still be doing it now, had my condition not developed I can almost guarantee I would still be dancing now. Dance wasn't just a love or a passion for me, it was a way of life.
I lived for Dance and dance lived in me.