Thursday evening, I officially completed my 10-month dance challenge. Sweat drenched and red-faced, I was a LONG way from the nerves and near tears of this past September, when I pledged to commit to movement and finding joy outside my comfort zone. Along the way, I was forced to embrace imperfection, to take myself less seriously, and to be patient with my mind as it struggled to express itself through a body that never seemed to be a part of ME, but more a separate, undesirable thing.
I performed a 4-minute intro jazz routine earlier this month to an audience of strangers and keepers, my hair teased to one side, gold ribbon braided through to match the metal detail that hung down from the shoulders of my glam rock costume. I was out of my element, nervous as hell, looking a fright in glitter and gold, but I did it. It was far from perfect, but in the end, it was what I hoped it would be: A ridiculous, satisfying and light-hearted closure to a promise I made to myself. I unexpectedly signed up for three more weeks of classes, not once, but twice a week in two different forms of dance; contemporary African and modern. I now find myself with nowhere to dance for two whole months until I’m able to sign up and start all over again. Amazingly enough, I will miss the weekly challenge to feel silly, awkward, and vulnerable in the safe and specific context that adult dance classes create.
I realize that it’s a serious challenge trying not to be excessively serious about the dance steps you’re learning, the good opinions you’re wanting, the battle you’re fighting, or the meaning you’re seeking. These 10 months of dance class have taught me that the fact of the matter is, there is no room for seriousness when you’re wearing black, gold, and fishnet stockings. I receive this lesson with gratitude as I continue my attempt to crawl out from under the heaviness of this lupus conundrum and into the business of living. Unfortunately, there is no video to show since videography was not allowed, but I’m sure you can gather from my descriptions that it will go down in my personal history as both a treasured memory of a challenge completed and as my most interesting fashion offence to date!