When I was 16 years old, I won a national award for choreography and dance.
As a kid I was a dancer, and a helluva good one.
My dance team coach suggested I choreograph a dance and perform it for the Disney Creative Challenge Awards. This was a national competition that included artists from high schools around the country. So I choreographed a lyrical to the song <sigh> Hands to Heaven by Breathe.
At 16 years old my favorite artists I chose to choreograph to were classified as Adult Contemporary. I was also one of those kids who called the 1-800 number to order the Time Life Love Song Compilation Four-Disc set. Hours and hours of love songs from Dione Warwick, Air Supply, Phil Collins, Toto, Dan Hill, Bread, Linda Rondstadt and MORE.
Anyway, I choreographed the shit outta that song and Mom had a seamstress make me a gorgeous custom chiffon dress. The day of the competition came and my Mom and Dad packed into the Aerostar and headed over to Disney where the competition took place. Hundreds of dancers and performers were there to compete. Some choreographed their own work, some used professional teachers and I considered them cheaters. But I digress.
In groups of twenty we were lead into the audition room, where seven judges sat behind a long banquet in front of a 20 x 20 parquet dance floor. They called my number and I assumed my position on the dance floor while Dad assumed his position as videographer (this is possibly the only video ever created by my Father that did not include his constant colorful commentary).
In a flash it was over. I didn’t trip, fall, or really make any mistake. I was happy with my performance, but didn’t know just how good I did until I was able to watch the home video.
We raced home and I shoved the VHS into the VCR and hit play. There I was, looking graceful, elegant, and nailing every move…and then it was time for my first turn sequence. The minute my gorgeous triple layer chiffon skirt started spinning, there it was. In full, bunchy, stark-white-panty glory….my underwear. My blindingly white, granny-panty, underwear sticking out on ALL SIDES OF THE LEOTARD.
I shrieked as I hit the pause button.
I pointed my finger at my Mom and shouted, “this is all your fault!”
“YES YOU! You never let me get thong underwear! You said I wasn’t old enough! NOW look at me!” (right now your scrolling back up to the top of this story to double check my age again, here let me help you out, SIXTEEN)
My poor Mother profusely apologized, and the next day we went to Wet Seal to get me my first ever pair of thong undies.
A couple of months passed as we waited for the results of the competition. I was so certain that I didn’t win anything that I almost didn’t attend the awards ceremony at the Honda Center in Anaheim. I begrudgingly went with my family, since we were all promised free entrance to Disneyland after the ceremony. I shuffled my way to the seating where all of the artists were situated. Hundreds and hundreds of kids were there, all hoping to win something. The center was filled with parents and family members of all of the kids who competed.
As I waited for the ceremony to start, two girls that I remembered from the dance competition sat down in front of me. They both turned around, looked at me, smirked at each other and then giggled about me. I felt like crap.
Before we knew it, the winners of the dance category were being announced. I sort of wasn’t paying any attention as they read each name to the silent audience....but I did remember faintly hearing the sound of my Mom, Dad, and Sister from waaaaay far away in the arena screaming my name. Apparently, I had won one of the awards. I gasped and jumped up from seat, startling the kids around me. I leaned down to the two girls sitting in front of me who made fun of me and said, “That’s me! That’s my name! Excuse me, I have to go on stage and get my trophy!” I should have added “suck it” but I didn’t curse…hell, I couldn’t even wear thong underwear.
I shimmied down the aisle and ran to the wrong side of the stage. Then ran in front of the stage jumping over cables and ducking for the camera, and finally got on TO the stage where I posed with Margaret Cho and the President of Disney with my award.
I still have the Mickey Mouse Trophy in my living room. And every time I dust it, I think about those two bitches sitting in front of me, and smile, “suck it girls!”