I mean, sure, we can try to outweigh all of the success that human beings have been able to accomplish. All of the beautiful creations that have been made thus far with less than desired thoughts of what negative impact we have on the planet. Or that we can't simply come together as humans beings and live peacefully in a world that has so much to offer.
A world to live a better life of less violence and more love. Less hate and more love. It's tough sometimes sorting through all of the messiness the world has to offer, but what I can tell you is that there is a world full of beauty out there, and I keep finding little bits of it as I get older and older.
I remember days when my anxiety was so bad during the Spring semester of my sophomore year. It was crippling, and to add depression onto it as well, that made it super easy for me to just ignore all of my responsibilities. I would cry for hours, feeling so confused knowing that this wasn't who I was.
I used to question everything so much that it made it impossible to interact with anyone. So, I hid away in my little room of our apartment. I remember feeling so sad, knowing that I was falling out of love with music. It happens, it wasn't for good, but because of all of the stress academically involving music, that made it super hard to love it.
I had also stopped playing field hockey, so I was a literal lost puppy. I remember always scrolling through Instagram, that was my way of staying connected to the world, I guess. I followed a wide mix of accounts, and a good bit were deejays, so as you'd imagine, my timeline, explore page, everything included festival photos, videos, and most importantly, dancing.
I remember coming across a video of a girl dancing and I was in complete awe. Immediately, I scrolled to the hashtags... shuffling? Shuffling, this girl was moving her feet in all different angles, and cuts, and slides, and glides, I couldn't keep up. I was hooked. Her name is Elena Cruz, @e_cruzn on Instagram, and I wanted to know how it was done.
I wanted to know everything, so I taught myself.
The summer going into my junior year, I would walk to this little basketball court that was near my house with my phone and my headphones. I was a little embarrassed to be trying something that some people might find so odd, out in broad daylight, but I was too invested in learning. If I could have a photo of every look I got that summer, that'd be a great photo album.
When I first started learning to shuffle, I started with the basics and just learned the shuffle before I even dove into the thought of shape cutting yet. What I found was that learning shapes to slower songs made it so much easier to learn the steps, and once I had that, I'd simply incorporate it into a faster-paced song.
I felt myself becoming more and more comfortable, even my walk to the court was more confident. Something in me changed when I started shuffling. I found the courage to finally just post my first video, and with that came the first like… and the next… and another.
The feedback was so positive. It put the biggest smile on my face, and it made me all around happy that someone was actually enjoying something I had created. As Summer flew by, I posted more and more videos, and people really loved them. To think that I started shuffling then, and to see me now and the progress I have made, and the friendships I have made, and the love that's been spread, and the beautiful art that I create making someone smile... is all the more feedback I'll ever need.
Shuffling has been another little bit of beauty that I've crossed paths with during my time on this planet, and I can only imagine the beauty that is to come.
Never in a million years did I think I'd be a dancer, but it's the best feeling in the world when I look back and think about that sad little girl who was so confused, in her room hiding away from the world. She is now flourishing and giving the world a beautiful piece of herself.
She was scared, unsure of herself, afraid of what might be said about her. She doesn't care anymore. She dances on rooftops, she dances where she wants, she dresses how she wants, and she is her own beautiful person. There is ugliness in this world, yes, and it can be so hard at times to see it, trust me I know.
I've seen the ugliness since I was five years old, but you can be a beautiful part of this world, no matter what. I promise you, we can do it.