This title is a line of “What You Own” from RENT. That exact line is amidst this amazing split part (listen to it here!), so I can’t blockquote it as I normally would. Instead, enjoy another lovely part of this song:
“That drip of hurt, that pint of shame, goes away just play the game…. You’re living in America at the end of the millenium; you’re living in America, leave your conscience at the tone…” –What You Own, RENT
As my frequent readers may know, my dance recital is tonight and tomorrow night. I’m freakishly excited, despite being in only a small part of the overall showcase. At the same time, I’m incredibly sad that I’m no longer in my swing number.
I thought I was alright with it (read more [though it’s admittedly still vague, my apologies] about that here). I really did. Then I watched them at the run-through.
I got truly depressed, something that hasn’t happened for quite some time. I can honestly say that, in that moment, I missed it so much that it hurt.
At the same time, though, I felt an overwhelming sense of pride. I’d watched these couples (some literal romantic couples, others only on the dance floor) come from a simple “Okay, now triple step…” to “Here’sthemusiclet’sbeawesome.” I’d made friends that were now on stage, and while I was really sad to not be up there with them, I could hardly have been prouder.
Now for the song lyrics:
It was many and many a year ago, in a kingdom far from the sea…that my little sister was a dancer.
When I went to see her in the performance after which that picture was taken, I remember a conversation with my late grandfather. Though it’s hardly verbatim, it went something like this.
Pop: “Did you like the show?”
Me: “It was…good.”
Pop: “What do you mean?”
Me: “I guess I’m just not a big fan of dance, you know?”
Pop: “Those dancers put a lot of work into that show, they deserve to be praised.”
Now, I had friends in the show as well as my sister, and I’d loved their numbers if only for that reason. But I was also a performer—of everything but dance. I was used to the sights and sounds and words of Broadway, the intensity of a symphony. In short, everything but a pop song playing overhead while a group twirled around on stage. I hardly thought it was easy, but I didn’t let myself fully appreciate it.
Fast forward quite a few years, and now I’m the one on the stage
twirling pirouetting to 80’s hits. I absolutely love it (just ask my friends, I’ve hardly stopped talking about it the last few days!). That conversation with my grandfather has stuck with me, and I can’t help feeling like a hypocrite.
Maybe I’ll pick up on some sort of sign that he understands, that he realizes I’ve changed, that I really enjoy it. Hopefully, he’ll be watching, and know.