Monday, January 21, 2013

Do you want to dance with me? Part 2

“Oh, why isn’t he here yet…” I was making awkward smiles with everyone as I sat there alone in the corner of the classroom. It was not that I did’t know them; it’s just that I was not familiar with them. I waved to Wei who smiled at me from the other end of the class while making small talk with other group members. I stared down at my finger nails trying to look occupied when Jason appeared at the door with another sulky looking guy close behind him. Somehow, that guy instantly made me feel distasteful. But before I could reach Jason, Wei made an announcement.

“Hi everyone, thanks for coming today. It’s the first time since the school has agreed to let us perform on stage for the welcoming orientation, so I hope that everyone can give their best into this. I’ve come up with several dance steps and combos which I hope will blow their minds off! Guys, we will be doing Korean Pop dances!!”

“Korean Pop?!” That sulky guy stepped forth from behind Jason, obviously unhappy of the turn of events. He looked sluggish with his oversized school uniform, his hair a messy bunch and his face filled with pimples, a total turn off to the ladies. He turned around and faced Jason. “That was not in the agreement…”

Jason was surprisingly calm, I presumed that he was used to these outrages by the sulky guy. “Yea, well, you gotta deal with it then.” He said to him as he smiled sheepishly.

Wei took the opportunity to turn the situation around. “It’s okay Sheng, we can incorporate other dances into the dance routine too, don’t you worry.”

The sulky guy, Sheng, looked again at Jason in defeat and shrugged. Other girls shook their heads in disapproval. The meeting went on and roles were assigned to everyone.
I could tell that this is going to be interesting.

Days flied as dance practices were carried out. Imagine sweat, pain, cramps, soaked cloths, and blood; now mix them all together. Usually after class, we would practice like nobody’s business, remembering dance steps, repeating them over and over again and fine tuning every routine. At night, we would watch YouTube videos to get more inspiration. Life then was a blur of sharp fancy footsteps, graceful twirls and turns, and simple gymnastics. As I dance, something changed in me. I started to enjoy the dance practices, moving in tune with other dancers, making friends and hanging out. I actually looked forward to the practices and I, as hard as it is for me to admit it, was happy.

Three weeks before the welcoming orientation, Wei and Pheyee (one of the dancers) busted into the classroom we were about to have our dance practice in and made an announcement to everyone.
“After some consideration, we have decided to add a BRAND NEW dance routine to our current one! I think you guys are gonna love it!”

A few grunts from the guys and some excited squeals from the girls were heard. My curiosity grew as Pheyee walked towards the laptop and plugged in a pen drive.

“We are going to be doing…” Wei paused as Pheyee played a familiar sounding tract. It was the hit song ‘Nobody but you’ by the Wonder Girls but with a slower but yet intense rhythm, intriguing yet alluring tempo, it almost sounded like a…

“TANGO!” Wei announced gleefully as the projector was switched on. The members from Wonder Girls were moving elegantly in their white glamorous dresses as the male dancers embraced them and held on to them tightly. Then the girls were released to perform a series of fancy dance moves and they were reeled back into the male dancers again. They moved in such unison, such sensuality, such poise, such grace…

Our friends glanced at each other nervously. I would not blame them. I myself was not so sure about the idea of 2 people dancing so closely and intimately, almost as if they were seducing each other. I felt obligated to say something against it. But the idea was so hauntingly beautiful; I could imagine dancing in another man’s hand, the warmth, the protection, the romantic tension lingering around… It was every girl’s dream to be dancing with a gentleman. As the feelings in me got tangled, I looked weakly at my fellow prefect, Jason for help. As if sensing my discomfort, Jason tried to reason with Wei.

“Wei, are you sure this is gonna work? It is already hard enough getting the school’s approval for the dance performance; will this be too much?”

“Jason, I had a vision. I imagine us dancing on the stage, smiling as we wow the audience. The students will be cheering as we finish our dance. Everyone would enjoy the performance so much, and they would say ‘hey, those guys are so amazing! Nobody could dance like that’. That, my dear, would be of the greatest satisfaction to me.” Wei said hopefully as she half looked at the ceiling of our boring old classroom.

“Wei, are you sure? Those dance steps are hard…” Chris, one of our male dancers, said with concern.

“I believe we can do it. I am bored of the usual hip hop dancing with those predictable steps. I hope that we can bring back the old school dancing with a new twist to it. It will be awesome!”

At the mention of that, everybody’s head seemed to be nodding in agreement.

“Besides, this is the last year we will be studying in this school, the last year we will be together and the last year for us to do anything crazy. I would say, let’s aim high, shoot for the stars, and let’s leave this school with a bang!”

A thunder of claps warmed the dingy room. I saw Jason across the room clapping, convinced with enthusiasm. Even Sheng was in a good enough mood to not interfere. That dreaded me more. 

“Thank you everyone, for your support. I will plan out the dance routines with Pheyee and we will start on it as soon as possible. There’s also the issue of dance partners to be dealt with. Because there are 10 girls and 4 boys, I think we will form 4 couples to dance the tango. We welcome suggestions from everyone.” Wei ended her little speech with a confident smile.

 “Jason, don’t you think that this is a bit too much? I mean, dancing is one thing, but dancing the tango? How will the teachers, the prefects and the students look at us when we are wrapped in another’s arms, dancing so intimately with another? We are prefects; we are supposed to uphold a strict and respectable image for the school. I don’t think we can do this.” I felt my face got flushed by warm blood as I stormed into Jason’s classroom the following day.  

“But I thought you liked ballroom dancing, you told me that some time ago. Seriously, I thought you were excited about it.” Jason said coolly.

“Hey guys, what are we talking about?” Sheng was grinning naughtily as he placed his arm on Jason’s shoulder. 

“Why are you here? Oh right, I forgot, you’re in the same class as Jason. Well, it’s nothing. It’s none of your business anyway.” I tried to keep my face straight but it was getting strangely hard with him smiling foolishly at me.

“Fine, I was just nosing around to see if you will be the lucky girl to have me as my dance partner. Apparently not.  Ha ha ha..” Sheng smiled as the nodded one last time to Jason as he left us.

“Wendy, I know you are concern, being the head prefect and all. But I think I am not going to miss out on this chance. I’d like to dance like those Korean guys… If you are not comfortable with that, don’t dance the tango.” He said it with the best interest in me. I knew that he was right, but somehow, I was deeply troubled within. I could only nod in dejection as he walked pass me to talk to Wei about this.

How I wish if I could be just a normal student. I have wanted to dance the tango for a long time. I have been talking about it to practically everyone I know. My future wish list actually included ‘learning how to ballroom dance’ with ‘tango’ just beside it.  However, I dared not move out from my comfort zone to the unknown. I was afraid of what the others will think of me. I was scared that I would make a fool of myself. 

---Part 1 (Intro) here Do you want to dance with me Part 1 ---
---Part 3 (ending) here Do you want to dance with me Part 3 --- 
Thanks my friends, have a nice day. 


Thursday, January 17, 2013

Friends are made this way

I had a bunch of friends at USM...
We studied together,
We enjoyed together,

they are kind to me, 
and they are more than I've ever asked for. 

Thanks guys for rocking my world. =)
Have a nice Snake Year everyone! 


Monday, January 14, 2013

End of a Sem + Do you want to dance with me? Part 1

Finished my last paper, what I am feeling now is relieve and freedom.
Aaaaaaaaaaand Chinese New Year!
My friends asked why am I so excited, it's just another celebration...
For me, CNY means new stuff, new year, new luck!
I am happy to be home with all of my friends and family, I am glad to celebrate it with them.
I love cheesy CNY songs and I love CNY food.
I love what we did during CNY and I love new beginnings.

I would like to share something with all of you guys out there.
I participated in an essay writing competition and won first prize lately.
Even though it was not a big scale competition, I'm glad that I won.
Because, the story I wrote actually means a lot to me.
Hope you guys will enjoy the first part of it.

Do you want to dance with me?
(Part 1)

 “Do you want to dance with me?”
Under different circumstances, that would be very flattering. But from his calm and controlled tone, I could guess what would happen next. I held on to the phone tightly as my breath started to get slow and heavy. The TV screen in front of me grew blurry as I slump deeper into the sofa. Adrenaline began to rise in me. I wanted to dance with him but there were too many uncertainty and too many sacrifices. Questions poured inside my mind as I debated whether or not to accept his offer. I imagined myself dancing gracefully on stage, with him holding me, both of us smiling brightly as we finished with grace. How I wish I could be that lucky girl. BUT. What will happen to the other dancer if he chooses to dance with me? What will happen to our team, my friends? What if I fail? Can I pull this through? Can this clear my name of being a betrayer?

“Hey Wendy”

I stirred from my chair to realize a tired looking Jason walking through the door. Trickles of sweat flowed down his dark face as he grabbed a seat beside me and lunged at his water bottle.

“How did the discussion with the teacher go?” He looked at me with annoying eyes and did a shrug.

“Ahh, I guessed that. Well it’s nothing we can do. Discipline teachers are hard to convince sometimes.”

He took a final gulp at his water as he folded his arms on the table and rested his head on it. “I wish life would be easier. You thought being a prefect seems so cool; getting to know all the teachers, being respected by the students and all… But in fact, it’s the total opposite of that. The teachers give you a hard time and students make your life miserable. What’s more, the midterm test is coming soon. I haven’t even ‘touch’ any of the books I should be studying.”

I could only give him a sympathetic look as I subconsciously toyed with the prefect badge pinned on the left side of my uniform. Deep down, I agreed with him. It’s hard being a prefect, harder still being one of the top management where you had to conduct the whole board of prefects while juggling with school work, duties and co-curriculums. I myself felt the need to ‘get away from it all’, with the prefect’s evaluation forms pilling up and 3 sheets of backdated Pure Math homework waiting for me,  I needed a break. My thoughts were interrupted when Jason sat up all of the sudden.

“Hey, Wei’s organizing a dance performance for the welcoming orientation of the new students and she’s putting together a group... Well, I’m in it!” I looked at him quizzically. “I think you should join it too! You know, to relieve the stress and everything. I know that you like to dance too!” Jason continued with a smirk.

“Oh, I’m sorry man, there are just so many things to be done, and I can’t just go dancing!” I rolled my eyes at him but he attempted the puppy eye look which looked so wrong matching with his lean body muscles and dark complexion.

“Fine, I’ll give it a try”

---Part 2 (body) here Do you want to dance with me Part 2---
---Part 3 (Ending) here Do you want to dance with me Part 3 --- 

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Mommy's advice

There's so many of them.
Among them, there's one which stood up from the rest.
And it's that one that I hold it dear to me.
The one I respect and would very much like to stick to it as much as I can.

Mommy said:
If you want to say something, make sure it's something good. If you have nothing good to say, then don't say it. 

I know it not original at all. It might sound lame to others but experience had taught me to think otherwise.
Lemme share with you a story.

Shelly (not real name) was once in the same team as I was, being one from the team member, she tried hard to be one with us. But she has this bad habit, she likes to bad mouth others. It's not like your typical "I don't like this", it's more like "Ewwww... Why must she do this? Don't you think it's stupid to do so?" Sometimes you feel bad for the person, but come to think of it, you'll be self-conscious, you'd think: will she badmouth me as she badmouth others too? So, when times pass, we drifted apart. Then I came to a Facebook status. She was stating what a bad day she was having and the weight she gained. When one of our friends jokingly suggested that she has to cut down on her food consumption from the photos she posted on FB, she went berserk. Needless to say, things did not end well for her. She still here and there, drifting, waiting for someone to approve of her.

Again, her behavior is not for us to judge. But it did help to generate more questions.
Why? Why will this happen? How did it happen? What went wrong?
I would say, it's the matter of the mouth.
It would have been better if Shelly knows that she's causing discomfort among her friends by constantly being pessimistic.
Maybe she has her own clarifications, we won't know.
But my mom's advice rang in my ear.
If you want to say something, make sure it's something good. If you have nothing good to say, then don't say it. 
To put it in context, how good it would be if we were to select what we say.
It would have saved a lot of effort.

However, this advice has its own limits. There are some instance where it is not applicable.
Have a nice day.

Signing off,