A decade ago, Karen Cheng saw the well-known dancer David “Elsewhere” Bernal contorting his body in a style that made it look like he was a “human optical illusion.” Fast forward to a year ago when Cheng began learning how to dance herself. Skip to two days ago when she uploaded a video of her progress.

The time-lapsed video titled “Girl Learns to Dance in a Year” shows Cheng on week one, jaunty and awkward in her movements …

karen cheng dance

(Image: YouTube screenshot)

…as she then flows into a fluid robotic-like dance …

karen cheng dance

(Image: YouTube screenshot)

karen cheng

(Image: YouTube screenshot)

…that finishes with a complete dance to show where she’s at a year later.

karen cheng danc

(Image: YouTube screenshot)

Cheng told TheBlaze she began learning the moves when she finally picked up a hiphop class about 10 years after first becoming interested in dance and had some private lessons.

Watch the footage of the now viral video:

Since being posted on Tuesday, the video has nearly 1 million views on YouTube. Cheng told TheBlaze it’s not getting play because she’s an amazing dancer. She actually said she feels like she has several more years of improvement ahead of her.

“I’m not an optical illusion yet,” the 25-year-old said of her ultimate goal to further her passion for dance.

The reason she thinks the video is gaining traction is because it shows how someone can “start from pretty much nothing” and with determination and practice achieve their goals. The video speaks to that overarching theme.

“A lot of people have a dream, and the most important thing is just to start anyway. Chip away at it,” Cheng said.

She explained what the video means to her even further on her website:

This isn’t a story about dancing, though. It’s about having a dream and not knowing how to get there — but starting anyway. Maybe you’re a musician dreaming of writing an original song. You’re an entrepreneur dying to start your first venture. You’re an athlete but you just haven’t left the chair yet.

When you watch someone perform, you’re seeing them at the top of their game. When they score the winning point or sell their company for millions — you’re seeing them in their moment of glory. What you don’t see is the thousands of hours of preparation. You don’t see the self doubt, the lost sleep, the lonely nights spent working. You don’t see the moment they started. The moment they were just like you, wondering how they could ever be good.

Although she pleased, looking back, at the progress she has made, Cheng said she plans to practice further and even has a new goal: being good enough to someday land in commercial or music video for her body-bending moves.

(H/T: Orion H.)