Dance Diaries: Awkward Adventures in an Uncooperative Body

For the next 7 months of my dance class, Wednesday posts will now be reserved for “Dance Diaries: Awkward Adventures in an Uncooperative Body.”  I have been blogging after most classes since they started in September and I thought it would make sense to make it a habit.  It’s all part and parcel of my written pledge to you that I will stick to this “dance, dance revolution” right to the bitter end.  The very public end-of-year recital will happen on (wait for it) the day after of my 30th birthday.  It will be the event that ushers me into my third decade.  Despite my anxiety, I can’t help but laugh at the absurdity of it all.  You can’t make that kind of timing up!

Tonight’s class was much better than last week.  My instructor informed us that there was a sub coming in tonight, so I was tempted to skip out.  I wasn’t feeling very well earlier in the day, and had spent a lot of the day sleeping, in addition to feeling anxious that my emotions would overwhelm me as they did last week, but I managed to get myself out the door.   Upon arriving at the studio, I pulled a fellow classmate into an empty studio and asked her to go through some steps with me.  It made all the difference, although the sub instructor stopped at one point, looked at me directly in the eyes and said, “one thing that you never do in an adult dance class is stress out.  This is not the place for stress.”

A couple classes ago, my instructor proclaimed that he figured out why I was having so much difficulty.  He stepped towards the person beside him with his right leg and grabbed the cup they were holding with his right hand.  “You would do this, wouldn’t you?  Here, try and grab it from me with your right hand.”  I naturally emulated his previous action.  He laughed.  “Ah, see, most people do this,” he explained as he stepped forward with his left and extended his right hand towards the cup.  “You’re part of that small percentage of people that naturally move the same arm with the same leg, which is why dance is difficult for you, because you are going against your instincts.”  Great.  So much for listening to my gut.  What the heck do you do when you’re in a situation where your instincts are actually wrong? Um, what was that about no stress, again?

Tonight, I called out to the sub instructor from the corner of the studio after traveling “instinctually” across the dance floor.  “Wow, I find it so weird that my brain automatically tells my body to do that!”  She nodded gravely before turning back to the stereo, “yes, me too.”  Sigh.  Well, at least I’m unique.

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