April 13th, 2019. This was the date of our dance competition. We had been working for weeks, staying up until 6 AM practicing and creating props or costumes. The nerves were getting to everyone as the happy atmosphere became tense. We were heading to our technical rehearsal on the stage we would be performing on.

We stepped onto the stage and waited for the music to start. I was already sweating. The roar of the music began and the bright lights blinded me for a second. The dance began and all was going well, until the fifth song. I was breathing heavily as I sat into my position. I leaned back with the dance step and my head collided with the metal pole at the back of the stage. I let out a little squeal and continued on until the final song, not thinking too much of it.

However, I stepped off the stage and began to feel dizzy. I touched the back of my head and felt a bump forming. Oh no, I thought. I sat down and couldn't stand for a while. I was afraid that I wasn't going to be able to perform. We had worked for so hard for this, I had to perform. The pain was constant, but my teammates brought me Gatorade and ice. They told me not to perform if I wasn't feeling okay and I considered it. My health is more important than a performance, but it was not like I had an injury making me incapable of performing. After about an hour I was walking, although slowly, and the pain died down. I was going to perform.

The time came and I was shaking. The music roared and the lights blinded me once again. It's only eight minutes, I told myself. You can rest afterward. It was time.

The performance went on and I gave everything I could. As soon as it ended, however, I was seeing black spots and feeling dizzy again. My teammates helped me walk back to the green room to lay down. It turns out that I had a mild concussion, which I discovered after going to the doctor the next day.

In the end, for me, performing was worth it, especially since we won third place. Sometimes it is important to persevere through the pain and sometimes you need to take care of yourself. It is important to know yourself and recognize what action is needed when. I am all well now and happy that I was able to perform to the best of my ability, despite the fact that I was hurt.