SUN QUN LAN: I’ve always wanted to be a dancer since I was a child, so I often dream about dancing. I’m always the protagonist. Once I saw a TV programme about dancing. I always get excited when I see people dance. Then I had this dream. I was on a magnificent stage and I was dancing International Standard Ballroom dances with a male partner. There were a lot of people watching us. Normally, I would never be brave enough to dance professionally in front of so many people. In the dream I was the protagonist, there were lots of flashlights directed on the stage, I felt great, and everybody was applauding me. I never took any official dance lessons, but in my dream, no matter what movement I made or what expression I put on my face, it looked very professional and the audience really liked it. I was so happy that I totally forgot about myself.
My family consists of my father, my mother and myself. They love me very much. My mother was very ill when I was in primary school and we lost all our savings on her treatment. Before that, our economic situation hadn’t been bad. In the third year of primary school, some teachers came to select pupils for dance classes. They touched our bones to see if we were suitable or not. I didn’t get picked. I was quite unhappy, although at that time I didn’t like dancing that much, but I had a feeling about it and it was a big blow for me. I could never go to a professional dance school because my parents didn’t have the money. But I always practiced at home by myself. I could dance better than other kids, I was always able to dance to music when I heard it.
I never got a chance to learn it, but it has always been my dream. When I was in middle school, I was sometimes chosen to dance at performances because I was quite skinny. That got me even more interested in dancing. When I started working in this hospital, I joined up with some friends and danced with them on different occasions. I started to get in touch with real dancing, not just dancing for fun but as an expression of what you feel in your heart, as a body language which can allow you to communicate with your audience. I really liked that. Then I got even more crazy about dancing. I often watch movies and TV programmes about dancing. It’s a shame that dancing will always be only a dream for me, a dream that can never come true.
My mother’s illness may have been one of the reasons why I could never take up dancing as a way of living. Another reason was that my father was a construction worker, which is a very risky job. One day he fell off a high scaffolding and had to stay in hospital for several months. That was during the time of the graduation exams in middle school. I was very shocked, my father couldn’t work anymore and neither could my mother, it was as if our family’s backbone had broken. At that time, my school was selecting students for medical school. I went to join the preparatory classes, but maybe because I was under a lot of pressure, I didn’t get good marks and didn’t get accepted. That made me feel very bad. My father also suffered from it, apart from the pain from his accident. We felt out whole family was falling apart.
Later I thought about going to high school, which would also allow me to go to university afterwards. But that would have meant six or seven more years of studying, and I wasn’t even sure if I would get a job after my graduation. My uncle’s daughter was doing an internship as a nurse at that time, she said it was a good profession and you could start working immediately after graduating, you could have your salary and feed your family so your parents wouldn’t have to worry about you anymore. I listened to her advice. To tell the truth, I didn’t really want to be a nurse. I had been ill a lot as a child and every time I had to go to the hospital to get an injection, I was very scared. But my father’s accident changed my mind. I thought, I’m their daughter and I should share some of the burdens of the family. This profession is quite useful for taking care of them.