Maria Lingga, Bronze and Silver Award Holder, Toronto
The Duke of Ed pushed me outside my comfort zone, to try new things such as dance for my physical recreation for my silver award. I had always loved to sing, but dancing was completely new to me, and truthfully, I wasn’t the best at it. However, I wanted to try new things- to push myself outside my comfort zone- I decided to dance for my school’s Multicultural night. It was a difficult decision at the time because I was afraid of the journey that it would take me on. But I should not have been afraid looking back I realize that it was the journey that I liked the best- getting to grow as person with some of the best people I have ever met.
The next step was what to dance to and with whom. I got together a group of friends and decided to mix our favourite songs because everyone’s opinion mattered; it brought us so close it was like we were sisters. Together we practiced every day after school, making sure everything was synchronized, and that it actually looked good. It was the practices that lasted hours and many revisions that made the dance what it was. As a group we learned from each other, together we learnt how to dance. It showed me that we could figure it out as a group; I learned the skills needed to dance in the best way possible.
So many hours, of effort, sweat, tears and laughter were put into our dance, and at the end we loved the end result. While I was not the best at dancing, I kept pushing myself to accomplish my goal because I wanted to learn and I learnt practice makes perfect. When it was finally show time, I remember being so nervous and feeling as if I would make a fool of myself on stage. My palms were sweating and I began to hyperventilate. However, it never happened none of us looked foolish. We had a great performance and a standing ovation. That performance was my first time dancing in front of a huge audience; it was the best feeling ever- an adrenaline rush. As a team we smiled and were proud of the things we self-taught each other. This wasn’t the last we did this either. I would continue to dance every year for the show until my high school graduation. Looking back on those times, I am so glad that the Duke of Ed program was able to help me see that possibilities are out there, we just have to reach out and grab them . It has definitely shaped me into the confident young woman that I am today!