The 23rd Chapter

The 23rd Chapter

To say that the last 22 years of my life has been easy, would be crazy. My life is a roller coaster, with me silently screaming. My entire life could be falling apart and I would be as calm as ever. Lol… On the 4th of December, each year, when I woke up, I would say to myself, “Another year gone, and you’re still so terrible at dancing, another year gone and you haven’t been accepted into any school yet, you’re nowhere near being a professional and you’re not getting any younger, you’re old. There are six year olds that dance better than you do”.

For society, being 23 is young… too young in fact, to make certain decisions, too young to say certain things, too young to think for herself…But in the dance community, a 23 year old would already have years and years of training and should be part of a dance company where her career can begin. If not, a 23 year old with no proper training has no business dancing and should be realistic with her life. I’m that 23 year old. Dancing for barely 4 years, I still hear my bones crack and adjust every minute because ideally, this is not the right age to dance. So I have to work twice as hard to keep my body from returning to what it’s used to.

It’s hard to be a dancer at my age but it’s even harder to be a contemporary dancer in Nigeria because I’m stuck in the middle of trying to remain true to my art whilst trying to educate and make my art appealing to my audience. Everyday, I’m being told to add something to my dancing to spice it up so that it can be ‘appealing’ to the Nigerian audience. I am being told to ‘make it more afro’ or ‘add afro moves’. If I give in, then I’d start to lose my grip on my dreams. I want to be the most prominent CONTEMPORARY DANCER in Nigeria.

I am a self taught dancer (who hopes not to be self taught for long), I have narrowly escaped injuries that should have left me paralyzed, I get minor injuries every other day and I am in pain all the time. But guess what? I love it! I love being a dancer! I love being different. I love seeing myself improve. Dare I say that seeing myself improve brings more joy to me than actually achieving that goal.

I have a lot to be grateful for. I have a long way to go, I don’t have time to wish, I have to get up and work for what I want. I want to be the most prominent contemporary dancer in Africa. I want to be the most prominent contemporary dancer in Africa. I WANT TO BE THE MOST PROMINENT CONTEMPORARY DANCER IN AFRICA! I will get injured more times than I have been, I will fail more, I will get rejected, but that is fuel. That is fuel for my fire… 

The 23rd chapter is going to be packed with more than what the previous chapters combined were made of. The 23rd chapter is the beginning of me acting on awareness and confidence in my art. The 23rd chapter is everything and more. The 23rd chapter is just one step towards the goal…

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1 comment
  • If you weren’t going to be awesome at this, it wouldn’t have come to you. I have seen a couple of contemporary dancers but yet, you are the one I follow. There is a sincerity to your art, I can’t wait for the world to see.

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Ijeme Bare