A young girl’s passion
‘She started dancing before she could walk’ is something my mother used to say about me when she was still alive. I never understood it back then, seeing as I was only seven years old, but going through the hundreds of videos and photos she left behind, I slowly started understanding her wise words.
Alicia Joy was a special mother, and I don’t just say that because she was my mother but she was the dancer who didn’t force dance on her daughter. On the contrary she simply showed her daughter some basic steps till young Amy grasped each one perfectly and constantly wanted to be surrounded by music, costumes and back then her mother’s show group, the Alicia Joy Dancers.
My career in dance began as young as the age of three when I had my first show in front of a large audience in a hotel in Sliema. There I was, approaching the stage so confidently in my tiny purple costume, large jazz shoes and my even larger bright smile. As they say, ‘a smile is one of the strongest, yet silent forms of communication and expression’ and oh, they are very right. A three minute dance with what seemed to be a three metre smile shocked and entertained everyone, their busy cameras capturing each step I take, making me fall even more in love with dance and the accomplished feeling one gets after hearing the audience’s screams and applause.
Years passed by and my passion for dance grew. I wanted nothing more than to live inside the dancing school copying my mother’s dance routines and learning new steps. Gradually, six year old Amy had 10 different costumes, at least 30 different dance routines and countless events, shows, and opportunities, locally and internationally.
My dream of performing on an enormous stage with thousands of people from all over the world came true as early as 2002 when my mother surprisingly announced that we will be taking my group of dancers to China to perform in a Tianjin Arts and Culture Festival. Just visiting China itself is a dream of so many people, actually performing there seemed impossible. But nothing is impossible, and in July 2002 we were in Tianjin; nine young dancers who were hoping to be visible on a large, round stage, covered in colourful large posters where a flag from each country was printed, us Maltese dancers dancing honourably in front of our red and white flag while fireworks burst out of the stage.
However, as one dream ended, a nightmare arose and my mother Alicia Joy, the woman who started my dancing career and stood beside me in every rehearsal or show, suddenly passed away, leaving my nine year old self wondering whether I could carry on dancing without her.
Dance is a beautiful art, which helps you express your emotions on stage in front of a vast audience who would appreciate your talent and in return you’ll appreciate their applause. It gives you that confidence boost one needs in life and apart from the best advantage any girl could hear - it helps you lose weight and keep fit - it gives you a sense of happiness and whenever you’re feeling down you know you can dance your troubles away and not worry about anything for that hour.
And that is why I continued my life as a dancer and now at nineteen years of age, I do not regret it one bit. Dance has given me so many opportunities in life and has helped me grow as a person. Participating in local shows and TV programs, and travelling to places such as China, Italy, Cyprus and England to dance made me respect the diversity of cultures present all over the world and I made tons of new friends.
People who compliment me for my joyful smile gives me a feeling of accomplishment as I know that my three minute dance could have brightened someone’s day.
Dance is and will always be a big part of my life and I tend to enjoy every second of it.