Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Put on Your Dancin' Shoes....



Today's DHC challenge was to do a ballet move which wasn't a difficult one at all but thinking about it brought back a memory. In the present, my friends are wanting me to take Zuma classes with them. They assure me that they are no better dancers than I am but I really doubt that. When I was in college....back in the stone age, physical education classes were required. I don't know about other places but I think that requirement has been lifted in Tenn. I don't think that is a good idea. Despite my total lack of coordination and grace, I did enjoy and get so much out of every PE class I took. BUT the ballet class presented some obstacles, I did not expect. I've always wanted to dance like a prima ballerina. So, when the opportunity arose to take ballet, I jumped at it. I'm not built or have I ever been built to be a dancer even in my skinny young days. And I was in the class with someone who'd taken dance their entire life  and someone who had been in the American Ballet company. I felt like a frog amongst princesses. There were others in the class who did not fit in but they stayed in the background and remained silent. I once had a therapist tell me that I've always been an introvert pretending to be an extrovert. The problem with playing at being something you are not, you tend to over act. So, the background and silent were never states you would find me in. I was never secretary of a club, I was president. I was never the last to volunteer, I was the first. Getting less than an A in any class was not an option and I always had an opinion. I was the classic over achiever and I like to think I've changed but probably not as much as I'd like. The thing is, all of that pep and enthusiasm came out of my own insecurity. I had terrible stage fright and surprisingly, since I seemed to crave it, hated being the center of attention. But my longing for acceptance had me not on the back row at my ballet class like the rest of the people with two left feet but right there front and center. So, the school decided to redo the floors in the room the class was originally held in so they told us we could use the gym. The only problem with this was that at lunchtime, when the class took place, the gym turned into a gathering place. Both students and faculty would be there for pick up basketball games. They were concentrating on their game so I wasn't worried about them. The ones who did bother me were all the ones who brought their lunch into the bleachers so they could watch the games or just socialize with friends.The class starts and there I am right up front and sticking out like a sore thumb. The instructor demonstrates what she wants us to do and my mind froze, I started to panic, I seemed to suddenly have a stroke or amnesia because she made no sense to me what so ever and I couldn't remember the first move. So, we began. At first, I was able to keep up with what the others were doing and then it all just fell apart like an intricate stack of cards tumbling to the ground in slow motion. And in the midst of my clumsy flailing and embarrassment, I hear a loud and familiar laugh coming from the stands. Obviously everyone wasn't watching the basketball games. Later that afternoon, I ran into the owner of that bullhorn laugh in a hallway on my way to class. He runs to catch up with me and with a very serious expression he said that he just wanted to compliment me on my dancing ability. I tell him to please just hush and go on. I'm still stinging from my humiliation enough without him adding to it. Then he says something that made me stop in my tracks and literally laugh out loud even if it was at myself. He said, "No, I'm being honest here. You amazed me because you were obviously the only one in the class who knew what they were doing because EVERYONE else was going the wrong way." The embarrassment faded long ago but that still makes me chuckle every time I think about it. That experience though makes me a bit apprehensive about taking another dance class especially since that wasn't my first humiliation with public dance....but I won't even go into that because it does still sting a bit. But, I'm old enough now to say, "It's now or never!" about a lot of things and dance is one of them. So, next week, I plan to put on my dancing shoes....or at least my repurposed running shoes....and join my friends at Zuma. If I lose my place, I'll just let loose and do my own thing. That's the wisdom of age. :)

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