I love to sing and I love to dance, but these are things that I kept a secret for years. Truly, growing up a imagined myself to by a top country music singer. My dad listened to a lot of Reba, Tanya Tucker, and Trisha Yearwood when I was young and I would take Reba to my room and belt my heart out with her.
I was also lucky enough to have MTV growing up, that was when they actually showed music videos. I studied the videos intently and taped them on VHS so that I could work on my moves more. I have vivid memories of staring at myself re-enacting full music videos in my mirrored closet doors.
When my dad bought a video camera, I convinced him to record my own music videos, complete with choreography. Maybe, I will dig up those tapes and post my "Blame it on the Rain" and "Kokomo" on youtube for you to enjoy (i.e. laugh your head off).
All this being said, I would not be caught dead singing in public. I did not sing along in church. I did not sing along in school. I did not sing along in the car with friends. Even though I really, really wanted to! I was afraid! I did not want to be judged. I did not want anyone to tell me that I was not good.
Over the years I have slowly gotten over this. In high school you could find me at the school dances not on the dance floor, but hanging with the boys that were too cool to dance, too. In college, I did show off my skills at some parties but pretty much only doing goofy moves to make people laugh. Or there were the times that I was so stoned that I did the same move over and over for about 2 hours in time with the music. Yep, that was fun.
In 2008, when we were preparing to go on a promo tour for Jason Mraz's last album with "Lucky" on it, I actually practiced in the privacy of my own car thinking that I could help Jason and take the female part on that song because there were not going to be any other girls on tour with us at that time ( I was his monitor engineer at the time). I even attempted to record myself to see how I really sounded, because I am pretty sure that my voice is average to say the least. But what if it actually was good enough to be heard by others? In the end, I told myself that my average voice would not be good enough so didn't bring the idea up.
Just last year, in 2009, do I feel like I actually started to dance when I wanted to dance, how I wanted to dance, where I wanted to dance and I remember it feeling so freeing! Honestly, it was the hula hooping that got me over the fear of dancing and that was not easy for me to learn, either. But, I chose to commit myself to trying it over and over again no matter how much it dropped and how stupid I thought I may look. I started to tell people that I felt that hula hooping was a type of therapy because I really had to let go of what I looked like. Oh and now some people consider me a professional hula hooper....
Today, now, I love to sing and dance and be free and not worry if it is "good enough". I am not seriously trying to be the next Mariah Carey or Colbie Caillat for that matter, but if I want to sing, if I want to dance, I am allowed to do that! Sure, people may judge me. BIG DEAL! If I sing along or dance my way or not, the truth is there will always be someone there to judge me. I am no longer letting that stop me!
By the way...this doesn't mean that I plan on singing "Lucky" or any other song on stage, this is just me tapping into how much I really love these things and realizing how much I have stifled them over the years because of the fear of how I might look or sound. Sing! Dance! Be Free! and Be yourself!