When friends ask me “What do you think will happen if you don’t go to MIT?”
I would say, “Can’t imagine that.”
“Because I wouldn’t be able to dance with such amazing people.”
But when the senior year comes, I just don’t know how much more I can do, or how much more I can reach.
By the way after I wrote this I found there are a lot of counterarguments you could’ve made.
But meh. Let’s just leave it this way.
I remember talking about this to many people. I hate complaining but I thought it is better to have people correct me than being stuck at all the worries and concerns in my mind. I know it’s ridiculous to say this but, “I’m too old.”
For a college team there is always a concern about “seniors” or people who would leave the school soon. NOT BECAUSE WE THINK THEY CAN’T CONTRIBUTE TO THE TEAM MUCH OR ANYTHING LIKE THAT, but freshman, or in general younger people, have so much potential and energy and perspectives that, with TIME, there is so much to grow. I so wish I have worked harder; I guess I didn’t.
I think I was fairly serious about making myself a better dancer and hopefully dance outside of campus and continuing dancing after I graduate. However, (again it’s my personal observation and definitely up for discussion) I guess the dance community was slightly different from before both within campus and in the Boston area. And this somehow influenced how I set my goal and standards.
When I was a freshman, the ’09s and the ’10s (or older), people like Tarikh, Adlai (trying not to write too much so I don’t forget anyone) who founded top-notch teams or remain as active/professional dancers after graduating. The people who we think are good now on campus will be like nothing if you throw them back to that period of time. If you saw the DT midway performance five years ago, it was basically a lot of donk (well it still is lol) and really really good people but not as much presence of people of different level (well correct me again I’m very possibly wrong). What I tried to say is that the level were so high back in the day because these people are serious about making dance their lives. However, the MIT dance community right now, i’m sad to say, almost no one treat dance seriously, I mean as serious and as hardworking as the alums. It’s always important that we dance for fun and I’m happy that we are more embracive, while for people who are more ambitious, they are pretty much alone. “School work/future” has become so important nowadays that many do not “gamble” their time on dance.
I definitely did the same thing when my studio work was a piece of shit (still is lol) and I couldn’t even make myself a happy and healthy person. I didn’t care about dancing, or I just didn’t care about anything because life sucked too much. Now when I think about it I don’t regret because that’s what happened to me as a student. I just wished I had the energy to calm down and listen to the advices; maybe I would do something different.
So now when I finally (sort of) recover from hell I realized I was too all over myself and there was, painfully, little time left to make a big* difference. For college students, FOUR YEARS is all you have. Even if you decide to stay in Boston after MIT, the not-a-college-student status becomes the subtle status change that influence your …… not like value but …… some (a bit) crucial thing. I personally think it is a lot harder to continue dancing if one doesn’t belong to a college team anymore. Workshops? Sure, but really what you need is either continue choreographing, teaching, or being on a team. Having someone to critique yourself, or nothing will happen. With that, how hard in reality it is to get on a team? According to my (very little if any lol) experience, one is worth for a team either by that they are young(?) and have so much potential to quickly be on par with the team, or that they are better (can add too) if not as good as the rest of the team. (Maybe) when one gets older, he/she loses the advantage to be the former ones. At the end of the day you just have to be very very good, but how?
I understand that there will be people who continue failing to get on a team because for some reason they don’t have the environment to improve fast or improve at all. The kind and amount of resource/advices a dance team provides can be so influential that one can just suddenly improve like a beast that you wouldn’t ever expect. So many people are waiting for this opportunity, and so many ends up still, a step from that door. While at the end of the day, It’s hard to keep your energy up when you get rejected many times and then you get through jobs and lives and all of a sudden you reach your thirties and there isn’t much you can do.
So much thought just came to me these days when ….. I failed an audition and am going to miss two more auditions because I’m still out of the country. It’s also kind of painful to see the lucky younger people having these teams to tryout and dance with; well that’s basically my fault for not reaching out in the past years.
Another thing. I’m telling this to myself painfully that the least thing I should do is to restrain myself to live in Boston only because of dance or the dance crews. Even if I want to be a professional dance it would not help me at all in the long term. Although MIT is one of the best for MCP (master of City Planning), for my profession I believe I should step out and see as many cities and their planning as possible to enrich my knowledge. I might lose all the confidence and connections and very likely become no where close to winning/attending any competition, but do I really need all these to show that I’m good? Or why do I need people to know that I’m good?
My only fear is that I’m not going to improve as fast, without all the pressures and stimulants.
I probably can talk days and days and days of this. I should just stop here and keep the rest to myself.
Working hard is all that I need, and improve with a speed that makes me die but not really.
Rule of thumb as always.