Ahlyxon Leyva is a Beginners 1 student of Polecats Manila. Here she shares how dancing has formed her heart and changed her life.
In performing I always say, dance like it is your last.
Since I was a little girl, i’ve dreamed of becoming a performer. I learned dancing a few moments after I learned how to walk. It’s because dancing runs in my blood. My father was a great choreographer in his teenage years. His forte was Funk, and he set aside school work because he was always so excited to take the stage. He was a member of VIP Dancers, the back-up dancers of Vilma Santos back in the ‘80s. He had a chance to perform in some of the noontime variety shows like Student Canteen and, on the latter part of his career, in Eat Bulaga.
But my father was like a falling star. He grew old cursing the talent of dancing. Eventually, dancing made his life miserable. He had to stop his schooling because he chose to dance in different places. But dance didn’t give him a shot at becoming a successful man. That’s why he’s the Great Wall of China between me and dance. He was never happy seeing me dance. He always told me, “You wanna end up like me, huh?”But that didn’t stop me; I knew that I could become something bigger. So I danced behind his back. I danced in school so that it wouldn’t be so hard to make up excuses for late dismissals. I always told him that I was busy doing bulletin boards and investigatory projects blah blah… But I was actually busy practicing school presentations. But soon he found out, and he was so mad. He grounded me and I ended up locking myself in my room crying all day and all night long. Finally, I found the courage to talk to him. I told him that I would’t make the same mistakes he did. I promised him that I would finish my studies while dancing. He told me, “You make sure. You are only allowed to dance in school. Got it?”
Years passed and my father and mother got separated. My mom couldn’t stay because of my father; being around him depressed her deeply. The next thing I knew, our money had run out and I had to stop studying for awhile. My world turned upside down. I felt like I was hit by a truck. I would cry all day, cry til my eyes were sore. But I saw my family picture and I remembered that I promised dad I would finish my studies as I danced. So I looked at myself in the mirror, wiped my tears and told myself, “Hey young girl. Don’t cry anymore. Remember the first time you spun and jumped and got hurt from dancing? You didn’t cry right? So now, just stand up and try the whole routine again. Apply that into life. Stand up and try the whole routine again.”
So I started working after celebrating my debut. Thankfully, I got accepted after my first job interview. I became a Customer Support Representative of ePerformax Contact Centers and BPO. I waved goodbye to dance right after I signed my contract. I felt bad of course, but what could I do? I had to earn a living.
Everything was going well until I lost my voice. The doctor said my voice got palsied and I needed to take a rest until it got better, which meant I had to resign from my job. But i still had to save money for the upcoming semester, so I ended up becoming a cashier at Padi’s Point Restaurant and Bar. I didn’t earn big money unlike when I was in the call center, but I can say that after three years of cashing out money, i really learned to love it. Surprisingly, Padi’s Point opened the doors of dancing to me once more. They appointed me to become the Ambassador of the Padi’s Point Theme Song. They asked me to choreograph the “Tara Na sa Padi’s” song. Together with some of the dancing servers, we choreographed Padi’s theme, which was used nationwide. It was being danced in twenty eight branches and I was even in the instructional video!
I found myself back on track and I danced in school again. I would study in the morning, dance in the afternoon and work in the evening. It was tiring but fun. Right now, I am a Dance Coach in VoicePower Talent Management and Events Organizer. I teach kids to do street dance. It is so cool, like I am a part of their dreams of dancing.
Now, I’m 21 and I’m a Pole kitten. I wanted to learn pole dancing because I always wanted to be something bigger. My life feels like my own personal pole. I would climb and then slip, but I would always climb again. I would do spins and fall and but would try to spin again. Polecats are part of my inspirations in dancing. My teachers always ask me to squeeze my thighs, to point my toes, to smile even if it hurts. They are simply asking me to be strong. They are asking me to conquer my fears of falling from the pole; because if you trust yourself, then you can let go.
I am Ahlex Leyva of Beginners 1, continuing my journey in dancing.