Growing up as the dance teacher’s daughter, I faced a lot of sh*t. It was either really awesome or really shi***. It was awesome because I got to witness first hand my mother’s insanely dedicated ways, and that rubbed off on me in more ways than one, leaving me to be dedicated in everything I do. It was shi*** because there was a very high level of expectation from me, in terms of dance and what I would do with dance after many years of training, and that personal connection I had with dance (with my mom being the teacher) led to a place where if I ever chose, even temporarily, something over dance for a minute, I would get serious emotional blackmail. And I am one of those people who really tries to please everyone (I really need to stop that), so it bothers me when people close to me are upset with me. Another thing that sucks about being the dance teacher’s daughter is that inevitably when you stick out dance longer than everyone else, you yourself gain this sense of “I want to dance forever, that’s what I want to do” and you start dedicating yourself to it in more ways than one while trying to maintain an academic/professional career (for the dough) and then face many points where your dance teacher reminds you that you aren’t a professional dancer yet, or you aren’t “there” yet, or gives another student more time than you because they don’t want to deal with you. I guess it is a teacher’s job to keep the student humble and grounded, and I appreciate that greatly about my mom. Because of her, I know that there is a lot more work to be done regarding my dance career (there always is with any artist and their art). But because of the “holding back” I feel from her sometimes, it is hard for me to go into new dance situations and new artistic endeavors without a high level of confidence – with your good cop and bad cop mom on your shoulder talking over you and reminding you every 5 minutes that you don’t know anything.
I guess all that information was unnecessary (most things I say are not important, trust me), but my relationship to the Sabrina has a lot to do with these personal changes I keep going through. When I danced with her and her sister, I remember times where the laughter overpowered the dancing by a mile. So when we danced, we were happy to be dancing. We enjoyed each other’s weird quirks, like when Sabrina didn’t know what she was doing and would laugh her face off out of nervousness or when her little sister Pam Anderson would rush out of rehearsal because she had a ferocious poop coming. We had friends in that class who would never speak to any of us and others who would cry when my mom made them dress up like a man. Then there was me, with my unibrow and full-grown mustache trying to look feminine and swift like all my classmates. It was quite the interesting bunch, but hey, our quirkiness led us to perform all over India, London, America and Canada! We didn’t do bad for a bunch of high schoolers. Now, with my professional dance company, I am happy to say that I have had the experience of performing in other places and if our dance company gets the opportunity to travel, I won’t be as nervous (who am I kidding? there is no way I won’t be nervous if something like that happened to me again).
Sabrina was always the one with the freaky laugh though. Dude, she could make any situation light with that laugh. There were full-blown fights I would have with her sister where we didn’t talk to each other for days, and it was Sabrina’s stupid a** laugh that made it all come full circle. I remember when we were touring in India, me and Sabrina and her sister were all fighting. It was Sabrina and Pam Anderson vs Me. Nothing is worse than fighting with a bunch of people you are touring and performing and living with. Plus, Sabrina and Pam had each other’s back. But to be honest, I don’t even remember what happened. All I remember was Pam Anderson coming into my mother’s room one morning and crying and hugging and apologizing for stuff and after Pam and I hugged it out, I went to their room and Sabrina bellowed her infamous clown laugh. It was the best. She’s such a freak, and instantaneously all was right with the world.
I guess my point is that as we grow up, things get real serious. I just had a long conversation with my boyfriend, my mom and my dad hoping that one of them would sympathize with me about how stressed I am, how looking for a job and dancing in three different places and performing 4 shows in five days (next week, 6/26-6/29) and giving good job interviews and not having a freaking dime is really getting to me. But f*ck that. They all told me the same thing. My boyfriend (often insensitive and crude) said it best: “you put your d*ck out in several places and leave everyone unsatisfied”. Although I wanna punch him in the face for that, I have been noticing more and more over the years that all the work I do is not really always appreciated because inevitably I let a lot of people down. HOWEVER, all the work I do are things I love to do, and I’m not willing to give up on any of them. People like Sabrina and Pam Anderson kind of inspired me that way. They persevered through so much shit. Pam Anderson has been talking about acting since she could crawl, and now she is releasing her first feature film. I mean, how bad ass is that?! Plus all the personal, family struggles their family has been through, and then to watch 4 strong women stand together at their sister’s wedding – man, there is nothing like it. Sabrina and her fam have helped me realize that no matter what people are thinking or saying about me or what I do really doesn’t matter…because I’m pretty decent at what I do, I try really hard, and I have a lot of fun doing it once I put the stress down.
I know that when I’m old and gray and don’t have my dance picture published in an awesome book like I’ve always wanted, I’ll call up the Sabrina and ask her to creep me out with her laugh again. Beyond her insanity, there is a strong-minded, willful person…it reminds me that I am a strong person too, and that I don’t need to keep pleasing people if it’s not within my means. I do what I can and call it a day. I’ll probably cry about it for like 5 days straight (I’m so pathetic most of the time), but then I’ll think of the Sabrina and her peoples and realize that it’s not that serious, and I’ll do what I gotta do.
On aside:: When I don’t feel shitty about myself, the other half of me comes out where I think I’m all that and a bag of chips. So for when that confident side decides to show up (cue Sabrina ‘s stupid laugh) I’ll be singing “Shame” by Jill Scott.