The lights beaming down.

The sweat trickling down my skin.

The rushed adrenaline flowing through my veins.

The cheers and claps from the audience resonating in my ear.

Pouring my heart out into every movement.

Engulfed in the meaning behind those that words escape from my lips to that microphone.

Being on a stage, either through dance or singing, each experience has slowly shaped me into who I am today.

As a little girl, I had karaoke contests with my mom, always trying to beat her high score with the seemingly rigged and biased karaoke machine. I performed the piano and guitar for all the *Titas & Titos. This excitement for performing transitioned to Filipino Cultural dancing, which rooted me in my heritage: the familiar clanking of the bamboo sticks still resonating in my ears, the heat of the flames radiating off the glass cups I balanced on my hands and head. That small flame sparked my growing love for finding myself through these extensions.

As if a Peter Pan Syndrome hit, that fear of growing up still stuck with me, but this creative outlet always gave me strength. Through K-Pop dancing, I grew as a leader/choreographer, found a family that shared the same passions, and poured my blood, sweat, and tears (haha all ya'll BTS fans out their know what it is :P) into dancing. Late night jam sessions during study breaks. Performing duets and fun renditions with people who mattered to me. All of it ending with smiles, booming applause, and that satisfaction in knowing it struck a chord in people. The freedom and opportunity to really dive into the art of performing and growing with others, those experiences are priceless.

If you ask me today what the most impactful experience I've ever had was, it'd be hard to pinpoint one moment. But one thing's for sure: pouring my heart and soul into a performance and connecting with an audience has always been the most irreplaceable euphoria for me. There's something empowering and fierce about owning up to being unapologetically sexy, powerful, sad, or happy and not caring what people think. Letting those emotions consume you to tell it's tale through your body and soul.

Overall dancing, singing, all these creative outlets have been…

My escape from reality.

My strength to overcome fears and doubts.

My clarity when my mind is fogged by negativity and insecurities.

My creative outlet to express myself when everyday conversation isn't enough.

My experiences that have allowed me to grow more confident and comfortable in myself.


*Titas & Titos = Aunties & Uncles in Tagalog, the Filipino Language

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