Jan. 19, 2023
By Bethany Negron
Getting over my shyness took time. As a little kid, I was super shy and hated talking to people I didn’t know. Even introducing myself even to family members was a struggle for me.
I would always end up behind my parents, hiding and not saying a word. My mom would force me to say something, but that made me feel uncomfortable because I didn’t feel comfortable speaking to others like I did with my parents.
When I was four years old, my mom decided to enroll me in dance classes. She told me it would be good for me to have some social interaction and learn a new skill. At first, when the teacher or anyone would ask me a question, I wouldn’t say a single word. Over time, though, I became more comfortable and began speaking in class and to my peers.
About a decade later, I am still dancing and enjoying every minute of it. My dance studio, Allegro Arts Academy in Carlstadt, has become a second home to me. Every week I take acrobatics, ballet, flamenco, hip-hop, jazz, lyrical and tap classes. This keeps me busy Monday through Saturday and even some Sundays. This schedule can get exhausting, but I am proud that I have maintained the discipline to pursue my passion and gained the confidence to get to this point.
The group of dancers and instructors I grew up with have been nothing but supportive and encouraged me to speak my mind. Therefore, I became more assertive and now feel comfortable carrying on conversations with people I just met.
My dance studio, Allegro Arts Academy in Carlstadt, has become a second home to me.
Additionally, performing brought me out of my shell. Being on stage in front of an audience and judges has been life-changing. Whether I am dancing in a group or by myself, rather than feeling nervous, I am relieved that I can express myself and tell a story through movement.
Furthermore, when my studio made overalls at a competition, I have to speak into a mic in front of thousands of people and announce my first and last name. Dance is my therapy now and helps me forget about everything else because it keeps me focused.
As a young child, I never thought I would be able to grow out of my shyness, but I am so relieved that I did. Because of dance, I am a confident person who knows that, just as I got over my shyness, I can overcome other challenges too.