ACMA has become my second home, my home away from home. I got in when I was in sixth grade. At the time my focus was singing, I wanted to be a pop star. Second semester came around, and it was now time to face the dreaded Intro to Dance. Mr. Watanabe came into the tap room and sat down at the stool in the front against the mirror. For the next two or three weeks, I came in with a dark cloud over my head. I didn’t want to dance, I didn’t want to do develope leaps across the floor or plies. I would much rather play kickball and talk to my friends.
However, in the next few weeks everything changed, my point of view as well as I physically felt happier dancing. Then, in the first few days of April Mr. Watanabe came in, sat in the front like the very first day, and told us that we had the chance to continue to dance at ACMA. From now on he would be watching us to see if we were ready to go into Beginning Dance next year. A whisper filled the room, almost everyone wanted to move forward in dance. He pulled out a piece of paper and told us to write our name down if we were interested. I’ll just say that the paper was full by lunch time. I made sure to dress in my best dance clothes from then on. Hoping that this would help my chances, and knowing that it made me more confident. Finally the pressure and anxiety flooded away, but was quickly replaced by a knot in my stomach twisting and growing bigger.
He, again sat in the front with the list in hand. We all grew silence, all trying to see through the paper but unable to. He went through the list slowly, little did I know at the time that this moment would change my life. “Darcy O’Barr.” My heart stopped, unable to breath for what seemed like hours. I look at my friends who also got in, we all were just smiling. Not saying anything, just relief and happiness. Mr. Watanabe was my mentor, the person that changed my life forever. I tell myself that even if I didn’t have him for Intro to Dance I still would have found a way to dance. I now know that that is not true, Mr. Watanabe set me on the path that I am walking now.I know that I want to dance, and if that is not what I end up, dance will always be a part of me. Instead of wanting to be a pop star (which was highly unrealistic) I want to dance. I have been dance for almost three years and I still can’t get enough.