Re-published with permission from the Eclectic Journal Blog.

And then chaos comes…
It was hard for a freak like me to lead Indayog. I didn’t know what I was doing and I didn’t know how to get to where I needed to. You have people in one hand praising your performance and then you hear mean girl jeers in another. It was a yoyo feeling that left me confused most of the time. There was no way I could really please anybody.

I taught my peers in the way my teachers had taught: with fear and harsh criticism. My reputation was Catwoman. There were even rumors about me bringing in a fat caliper to measure my dancers’ body fat. I lovingly know the culprit who started that rumor ….I was horrible because I thought I needed to be. Funny though, in some ways it worked because it made performances more polished yet it backfires in the relationship department. I may be the choreographer or the president but they’re still my peers. Again, I’m confused, yet even more so, alone. I had simply relegated myself to being horrible.

I’ve made fans and critics, enemies and friends. During those days, I felt alone and scattered because I had no idea of leading a bunch of kids and making them into dancers. I was horrible to others because I was scared inside and simply refused to admit it.

After graduation, I just chose to turn my back and forget everything. I simply didn’t want to remember the bitch that everyone knew all too well. But can you really ignore something that calls out to your soul?

You think of dancing as a phase that comes with youth and then fades with age but it never really is. Pathetic as it sounds, I cry at musicals, ballets and dance movies during the victory performance scenes wishing I was the one dancing. I’ve replaced my yearning to teach dance with my vocation as a coach and trainer, yet it doesn’t feel the same. After 24 years, the call still rings loud and resonant yet it doesn’t feel like Catwoman anymore.

I do not regret how I’ve been before and I no longer judge how others were back then. Everyone has their own ways of growing and expanding. The extremities of my contrast back then has allowed me to be accepting of other people’s journeys. It is unfortunate I couldn’t have been understanding to my peers and friends back then but I still wouldn’t change my past even if I were given a chance to.

Nothing beats seeing your peers do a double turn when they have never done a pirouette in their lives. Nothing beats seeing your dancers become different personas on stage. Nothing can compare to the rush of a great performance. Nothing can compare to feeling the appreciation from your audience. Nothing can compare to bringing your body and soul to some place where it’s never been before.

I’m proud of how Indayog has managed to stay strong throughout these years. My classmates had mentioned that Indayog would crumble after I graduate but that was not the case. Something stronger kept it together. It wasn’t just leadership. It wasn’t just the trophies nor the recognition. It was simply the passion for dance that kept it together and I am so glad that several others shared that passion and found Indayog.

Indayog is my baby but it can never be all mine. It belongs to the prima ballerinas, prima jazzistas, the breakers, swaggers, steppers, waackers, hip-hoppers (hehehe). It belongs to the beaurocrats and the troublemakers, the freaks, geeks and drop-outs, as well as the divas and drama queens who have all given color throughout all these years and gave our college lives more than its fair share of interesting.

Happy Birthday, UP Indayog! You are forever my baby and I couldn’t be a more prouder great (raised to the 24th power) grandmother.