ADORATION by April Rodriguez
There are a few milestones in life that I aim to achieve. Some of my past milestones were to be on Small Flags in High School, to get back into Hula, to take classes regularly at Millennium/Debbie, to attend Monsters, to dance in a music video, to travel the world… there are lots of milestones I want to achieve in life and “things to do before I die.” After 3 weeks of choreographing, planning, conceptualizing, and rehearsing, I finally put on my FIRST choreographed number. You may be wondering why I felt it was so difficult. Well, throughout my entire life, I’ve run away from any leadership position. If there was any opportunity for me to take the reigns on a project, I would quickly back away. I think that stems from feelings of inadequacy or having self-doubt.. feeling that I don’t have what it takes.. This is me, my entire life.
But… when I think about all the moments of my past that have strengthened me and educated me, it’s always been the moments that were the hardest. Knowing that my decisions and work ethic would affect the outcome of my piece, I felt a lot of pressure to do a good job not just for myself, but for the dancers I chose to work with.. and I have to admit that I cracked under this pressure behind close doors many times. I was a wreck this past month, but after seeing the final product, I was so happy.
I learned a lot through this. I learned a lot about time management, planning and scheduling, the importance of honest communication, the heights and limits of my artistic capability, and the strengths and weaknesses of my voice as a director.
Through this, I thank all of my dancers for their patience, hard work, and encouraging support: Asaki Imai, Amy Lee, Jennifer Tang, Clarizcel Perez, Amanda Grind, Chantelle Rose, Mando Cardona, Josh Gilmore, Anthony Qureshi, Muhd Zaihar, Ronnie Chen, David Ng, Bobby Dacones. I was especially excited to have the Singaporeans dance with me. They were a lifesaver to me. I really admire their passion, drive, and dedication. Never once did I have to worry about them being focused and wanting to do well. I respect their work ethic, so much! Thank you for that, you three :) A big thank you to Essence for giving me this platform to showcase my work and for the encouragement, always. These ladies are so talented and so supportive. I have so much respect for them and I envy their qualities. Essence has always forced me into uncomfortable places that eventually make me stronger. Another big thanks to Joesar Alva for helping me with the choreography and for pushing me beyond my capabilities. Through both the ups and downs of our relationship, I can find inspiration.. I can find my way. Thank you to everyone who’s always supported me. I really appreciate it and don’t know where I would be without your love and support.