This weekend i stumbled upon a video of the World Disco Dancin’ Finals. The video was from 1983 and I ended up watching almost the entire thing.
It really drew me in, at first to see if it would get more ridiculous as it went in (being that the 80s were quite a bit of time ago) but I stayed because you could see the talent and passion in these people. They were committed, and some were really, really good.
Japan won in the video i watched, and i did a bit of googling to see what this competition even was. (Which is actually how I found the 1983 video because I originally began with 1982. Anyway.)
The video was actually posted to YouTube by one of the contestants. He made it to the top ten (from Ireland) and as I read the comments I learned that his dad actually made his costume. Really impressive, honestly. He also said he was in his early 20s and now he’s married and has kids. A few other contestants had commented, updating on their lives, and commenting on how much fun and what great memories being on the show gave them. They spoke of where they were now and what they remembered of each other. USA spoke of being nervous as heck which made her stiffen up. There were comments from people who remembered the original broadcast fondly and even how fun it was to see the old commercials. (What was uploaded was recorded by Irelands mom on their vcr recorder) We learned that the contestant from Jersey who I believe was third (and super talented) died shortly after the show at the age of 24. Her sister had commented on how grateful she was to have that.
Before reading the comments, I would watch these dancers, see where they were from and what their occupation was, and realize that they were real people. They were passionate, doing this whole dancing thing in their spare time from school or work. They were having the time of their lives and doing what they loved. They were all there, from all over the world, united over this universal love–a language that knows no bounds.
I thought of where I am in life and how unique it is. I thought of the friends I have from literally all over the world all because we love this same art form. I thought of what the last five years have held for me and how much I have learned about myself. I thought of the opportunities I’ve been given and the experiences I’ve gained and the cool stories I have to tell. I thought of videos I, too, can show my children of the cool things I’ve done with my golden years. I thought of how different my life would be had I never decided to pursue this, even though I began so late.
What wonderful memories I’m creating, even when it’s exhausting and painful and my body is trying to tell me I can’t do this. What wonderful people I have in my life now, and some I’ll have forever. What wonderful experiences I get to have as my own; ones I never really dreamed would be possible.
My heart is so full.