In-between the FPSs and MMOs, there shines a streamer on Twitch that began her career like no other.
I’ll never be able to be a good dancer because [insert any reason under the sun],” is something I used to tell myself a lot a few years ago. Depending on what day of the week it was, I wasn’t a good dancer because I was too tall, because I wasn’t strong enough, because I ate too much pizza, or any other number of excuses I could make up.
Just Dance is a game I’ve been playing since they first initially released almost 8 years ago. For Christmas that year, I got a Wii and a copy of the original Just Dance. My 14-year-old brain was blown because we couldn’t afford dancing classes, and I hadn’t had a console since my PS2 pooped out on me for good. I fell in love with the series and bought the annual game as soon as they came out. It was a great way to do what I was passionate about in the comfort of my own room, without feeling judged. Every year, the choreographies of the game became more difficult, and my dance skills enhanced with the series.
After the first session, I was #1. After the second session, I was still #1.
One day in 2014, I was browsing Facebook and saw an ad that the Just Dance page had posted. The title was something along the lines of “Compete for a Free Trip to Paris!” and the photo was a logo for the Just Dance World Cup. For 3 months, they were going to hold online qualifications. The top 10 dancers with the highest score would qualify and compete at the Electronic Sports World Cup in Paris. I thought it was such a cool idea – Just Dance just clicks as an eSport. “I definitely won’t get in, but it still sounds like fun to participate.”
After the first session, I was #1. After the second session, I was still #1. I stayed in the top 2 until the very end and qualified to go. For a while, I really didn’t believe it. I was so certain that I was the worst dancer on the planet. Even when I arrived at the airport in Paris, I didn’t believe it. But I went. And I competed. And I slayed as hard as I could. I didn’t end up winning, but the feeling of doing what I loved on a stage in front of thousands of people was enough to set my heart on fire. It was completely reassuring.
The World Cup
While at the World Cup, I found out about Twitch through their booth. I went home and decided to start streaming through my PS4. I thought that if I danced in front of people every day, it would force me to become a better dancer and performer. Just Dance was technically a game, so the dancing had to be allowed on the site, right? Nobody was doing it regularly, so it was new water to dip my toe in. I didn’t have a microphone, I used my phone for chat, and I was totally unprepared for what streaming had in store for me.
After 6 months, I was partnered. Ubisoft invited me to E3 as a Star Player. I qualified for the second World Cup. I was featured on Partner Spotlight on Twitch and my channel exploded. I started receiving tons of different opportunities from tons of different companies. Life hit me SO quickly. I’m now living in Los Angeles, attending my dream dance school, and streaming Just Dance for a living. I get a lot of people in my streams that want to start streaming, but are too scared or too shy. I use my own story a lot as a way to motivate them as much as I can, because I’d hate to think what my life would be like if I kept telling myself, “I’ll never be a good dancer.”