My Old VHS Performance From High School
I had some amazing teachers at Mayde Creek High School. My choir teachers Mr. Madrid and Mrs. Boukheir as well as the dance/cheerleading coach, Mrs. Baker stand out.
I played ice hockey in high school on an interscholastic team, which means we didn’t get an athletic credit, despite practicing at 5 AM on school days.
That meant I had to take P.E. to get my athletic credit. I wasn’t thrilled about this for a number of reasons, mostly because we couldn’t shower and the shorts didn’t get washed daily.
I asked the dance instructor Mrs. Baker if I could help out in her dance class that period instead. My sister was a cheerleader the year before, so she knew of me, but didn’t know me well. After some thought, she scheduled a meeting with our principal, O.D. Tompkins, who had the final say.
They’d had issues with boys in their dance class in the past, so they were not fond of the idea, but after my Mother, Mrs. Baker and Mr. Tompkins met, he decided to allow me in the class for a probationary period.
Having no formal dance experience aside from church dances and some choir performances, I expected to spend my time in the class doing homework, running the boom box, or organizing closets and supplies.
On my first day in the class, Mrs. Baker told me to go home, learn a dance, and teach it to her dance students. I was in no position to negotiate, so I went home and recorded a VHS tape of a performance by NSync at the VMA awards show, and watched it repeatedly. A few days later, I began teaching the dance class, and had a complete blast teaching those girls.
Mr. Tompkins would have been easily justified by keeping me out of the dance class, and keeping me in P.E. He took a risk with me and bent the rules in my favor. This exposed me to skills and passions I hadn’t yet explored.
A few years later, I would audition for a talent show called FAME on NBC, and perform in front of 24 Million viewers, representing Katy, Texas. All because my educators went to bat for me.
So, I want to thank Mr. Tompkins, Mrs. Baker, Mr. Madrid, and Mrs. Boukheir for allowing me these incredible experiences.
I hope all of our teachers are listening to our students and helping them find their passions like mine did. While the skills of dancing and singing are not relevant to my job today, the fearlessness and love for learning new things has been invaluable.
This video is from Perfect Mayde Man at the end of my Junior year, and the dance is the one I taught my first dance class.