SINGING, DANCING, JEAN SKIRT-ING BY JULIA ELSMO
Fun fact: I’m am a classically trained vocalist.
Why is this relevant? Well, I’d like to share a little anecdote about my first real vocal performance.
At the ripe age of nine years old, my studio was having a talent content. As part of my vocal lessons, I was required to sign up for a vocal performance. Of course, I chose to sing “There’s Your Trouble” by the Dixie Chicks.
The necessary details are as follows:
I wore a floor length denim skirt with cowboy boots.
I was 125 pounds at age nine at this time… approximately four foot ten inches. (do the visual mental math)
I had to choreograph a stage version of a square dance step across the stage while I was singing.
I wore a cowboy hat and red lipstick. (Again, nine years old and pushing 125 lbs.)
I hope you’re getting a REALLY vivid mental picture, because I know the image of this memory is searing in my brain right now and triggering a mild form of PTSD.
But, what’s really the most important here is that I fricking KILLED this performance. I remember feeling a well of pride after this performance, and that I had truly accomplished something well beyond my comfort zone. Although I cringe that my family let me a) sing that song and b) wear that outfit, I cannot thank them enough because they didn’t, even in the very slightest, induce any feelings of bashfulness or ding my confidence. If a voice of judgement would have been heard, it would have hypothetically prevented me from having such a magical experience that I can smile about today.
Thank you, mom and dad.
Thank you for encouraging the floor-length jean skirt… and letting me march (cough square dance cough) to the beat of my own drum.