[OPINION] Dancing onstage while on the autism spectrum
In my own way, I try to do small deeds that can still make an impact. I was able to show, for instance, that despite being on the autism spectrum, I can perform in a realm where people like me don't always get appreciated.
I had long thought I was an awkward dancer, even though I liked improvising dance moves to upbeat songs on the radio. But that changed in my sophomore year in college, when we got to learn different types of dances for Physical Education class, and were tasked to perform an '80s-inspired dance number as our final presentation. (WATCH: Blind singer with autism wows 'America's Got Talent' judges and crowd)
Day after day, I motivated myself to never stop practicing with my classmates. It was important for us to do our best so we could get a passing grade.
The day of our presentation finally arrived. I was a little bit nervous that I would perform the wrong steps. I remembered when our class did a cheer dancing routine: I had fallen off-balance, as I was still recuperating from asthma. I prayed that this time, I would not slip or make jerky movements while dancing in front of the faculty and other students.
I tried my best not to dance a second ahead of the rest or a second too late. Thank God I was able to do the dance steps really well! A lot of students who weren't my blockmates, as well as professors, were impressed by my dancing and went up to greet me after. I felt happy that I got to meet new people because of this. I was so over the moon that despite my autism, I was able to share my dancing talent with the world. (READ: [OPINION] Our Ausome Anton: A mother's journey with her son on the autism spectrum)
I do still suffer from stage fright, though, and that has kept me from continuing my dancing. Sometimes, I do odd stuff such as stomping my feet loudly or rubbing my hands to combat my nervousness. I wish that one day, I get to really control this stage fright and rediscover my talents anew. I wish I could still make a difference by delivering a good performance despite having an invisible disability. (READ: [OPINION] To the moon and beyond: Life as a teacher of children with autism)
I still want to continue doing things that make a positive impact, such as showcasing my dance skills. I might still go back onstage in the future, and delight the audience the way I did on that special day years ago. – Rappler.com
Billicent B. Macuse was born with autism spectrum disorder, and holds a degree in Computer Science. He is an aspiring writer and content creator who strives to inspire other people with invisible disabilities.