I have always had a creative mind. As a child, I imagined myself being some sort of performing superstar when I grew up, which may be crazy to believe. I loved performing. I loved to sing, dance and act. I was immersed in expressing myself in these types of ways. It brought me so much joy and happiness. I was determined to fulfil these dreams as I progressed into a new life when we moved from Manchester, but unfortunately my confidence was knocked, and the more I went through these troubling experiences, the more I felt I wasn’t capable.
I remember being in primary school, I must have been about 8 years old. The school was putting on a production of Cinderella, and I got the main part. I was told by my other pupils that I couldn’t possibly play the part of Cinderella because I wasn’t white. I was asked whether I would paint my face white in order to look that part. This was the beginning of the end of my passion. When I got to year 10, I was asked by a pupil what I wanted to do when I was older. I had started studying Drama for GCSE and said I wanted to act. That pupil told me it would never happen. A few weeks later I was asked to swap my GCSE Drama class as it was ‘oversubscribed. Unfortunately, at that point in my life I wasn’t strong enough to deal with setbacks, and just accepted that maybe I wasn’t good enough.
I danced a lot before we moved to Kent, and always wanted the opportunity to find places where I could continue this passion. There never seemed to be one, and by this point my confidence had been knocked. But the creativity within me was always there, and as I got older, I felt like I needed a means to express this, which came through my blog, but I also felt like dance for me was a form of expression. I wanted the opportunity to do this again, and so I did.
Two years ago, I got back into dancing and I am so happy I did. I love to express myself through this form. It gives me adrenaline, it excites me, it makes me happy and most of all its fun.
It’s so important that we can express ourselves somehow. Through different forms of expression, we are allowing ourselves to be confident, powerful and most of all, free. We are allowing ourselves to have a voice. Even though dance doesn’t involve speaking, I feel as though I can speak through the movement – I’m telling a story. Something we can all do this through expression.
Express yourself through your passion, whether that be acting, dancing, playing an instrument, cooking, sewing, playing a sport – anything is yours to own!
What I have learnt since my childhood is to not be afraid, to not be fearful of judgment, and to persevere even when you are knocked back. I wish I had more strength back then to keep up my passion of performing, but I have it now, and my dancing is one of the first steps or reconnecting with this, and the only way is up. I hope you are all confident enough to express yourselves too.