Photo Credit: Phil Wayes

Friday, December 12, 2008

At Odds with the Dance

I had A Moment this morning. It happens to all dancers at one time or another, and it goes something like this:

For days, you've been feeling like the worst dancer on planet Earth. Everything you do is wrong wrong wrong, nothing you do looks good, something is always a little bit "off" (at best), just plain terrible (at worst), or somewhere in between. You're dancing in a hair shirt, you leave every rehearsal feeling like an idiot, you've just had a bad class and you're so frustrated with yourself that you start crying...which makes you feel like an ever bigger idiot because seriously, who does that, this isn't Junior High.

But you can't help it, the tears are free- falling and you're using run-on sentences and other dancers notice and ask if you're okay. Which is a little embarassing, so you say you're fine, just (*sniff*) one of those days, you know; does anyone have a tissue? Thanks; yeah, I'm totally okay, I'll be fine in a minute, it's cool; it's cool, I'm cool.

You wipe the last tears from your face, tug on a pair of legwarmers, and get back to work. The show must go on.

Mind you, I'm not some candy-assed pansy who does this on a regular basis-- this is only the second time, oh, ever. Both times it was a high-stress situation where bad feelings had been piling up for a while, and both times I felt better as soon as I cried them out of my system. It's like a fever: it builds up inside and makes you feel like crap, then it breaks, you sweat it out, and you start feeling normal again. During today's rehearsal I danced with more energy/confidence and less anxiety/self-depreciation than I have all week. By the time rehearsal ended, I felt pretty okay.

After rehearsal L and I went outside to have a smoke and talk about dancerly things. Every dancer goes through rough patches; I call it my "quarter- life dance crisis." That was what I told our choreographer when she asked why I was upset; explaining that I'm just currently at odds with my own dance abilities. My dancing and I, we haven't gotten along all week.

After today, though, I feel better. Dance and I, we've had our little spat, but I think we're on the road to better days now.


Anonymous said...

I totally love you and I definitely know how you feel. By the way...guess who's improv-ing to a cheesy christmas song today for old ladies at a church luncheon...after not dancing since our show this July...uh, that would be me :) lol

Anonymous said...

I can totally relate to this. Thanks for putting the figurative ink to paper and being open about it. I find that when I go through one of those moments, I almost always come out of it stronger. When we are inside a growth spurt it's hard to see where we're going, but in retrospect the rough patch was a growing pain.

I just found your blog... I'll enjoy exploring your past posts.