Dance Diaries Wednesday: The Original Trauma

I suppose I have never explained why learning dance choreography was on my list of “greatest fears.”  We all tend to fear things that we don’t do very well, especially as we grow older.  As adults, we’ve found our “niche,” the things that we do well with little effort, so we keep doing it.  Why put ourselves (and our egos) through a learning process that will only make us look like fools?  We spent enough time in our younger years feeling like shit about ourselves and our abilities, right?

Some fear even the notion of trying, others fear because they’ve tried and failed.  Me?  I did a spectacular version of the latter. Many years ago, I auditioned for a local musical production.  My song and monologue got me through to call-backs, which, of course, included a dance portion.  Surrounded by skinny, graceful, obviously trained dancers in leotards, I stood there, petrified in my shorts and t-shirt.  A sense of impending doom swept through my body.  I watched fellow actors walk out of the dance studio without even trying to audition, disheartened by the level of skill required in the choreography.  Somehow, I found the courage to do it anyway.  I thought, I made it to this point, I might as well follow through. If you watch “So You Think You Can Dance,” think of the choreography round.  Remember those dancers who made you cringe and laugh at the same time?  Well, that was me. And to top it off, one of the auditioners ran after me as I hurried out to leave and said, “I just wanted to thank you for coming out.  That took a lot of courage for you to do that…”

Yah… um, thanks??

So, that, my friends, is the original trauma.  I can laugh about it, of course, but I was never in a hurry to repeat the experience.  I was content in the knowledge that dancing was not “my thing.”  You will be happy to know, however, that the dance class I am taking now is in the very same dance studio of so many years ago.  Yes, we are back at the scene of the crime!  It seems suspiciously planned in order for me to proclaim this delicious bit of symmetry on my blog, but it was, in fact, coincidental and realized after I registered for my class.  Regardless, it’s interesting to face this fear and to know that I face it with exact geographical precision!!

As for tonight’s class, the Bollywood routine continues to kick my ass, but I find myself less bothered if I am unable to grasp the steps.  I love that it’s fun and fast – I can hardly catch my breath from it’s cardio goodness.  My instructor also hinted tonight that he is leaning towards doing the lyrical jazz piece (“Last Dance” by Donna Summer) we learned before Christmas as our performance at the end of the year.  Did I mention we get costumes?  It will be an extravaganza of ridiculousness and I’m seriously contemplating asking one of my keepers to videotape it so I can post it here!  Nothing like a blurry, low quality video of non-dancers bobbing around in sequined, tight outfits to remind me that the real skill lies in being able to laugh and enjoy our own imperfections. Although, I do agree, wearing sequins in order to do that is a little much!

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2 thoughts on “Dance Diaries Wednesday: The Original Trauma

  1. Will you tell us when the show is??? I will videotape if you want me too! I have to come see………I will find out even if you don’t tell me.

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