For awhile at least!
The Dancers United for Saving Lives event was a success! There was a LOT of last minute and last second changes and cancellations to the performance line-up, and the organizer worked her butt off to keep the show running smoothly.
In the end, it was a successful event and I think everyone that came had a great time. And my waltz? Well, that’s what I really want to write about.
I was originally to be the fourth performer in the first act. About an hour before the show started, I was moved to number six. No big deal, I would just listen for my name to be called.
Before the show, I stood by the front desk and checked people in as they arrived. I had volunteered to help with the event before I knew I was dancing because I couldn’t afford to go as a paying spectator. Sad but true.
The owner of By Dancers graciously allowed me to model one of her beautiful practice dresses and even lent me a bejeweled belt to add some sparkle! It was sleeveless though, so I wore a shrug AND a sweater while I was greeting people next to the front door that kept opening and letting cold air in.
My turn to dance finally came. The studio was set up so half of it was reserved as the “stage” and the other half was for the audience. It was a small space to perform a waltz, especially when I’m used to taking long steps. Teacher warned me to be prepared to curve!
I was going out cold, in that I had no warm-up with Teacher that night and we hadn’t actually practiced the waltz in a lesson for at least two weeks. When we first took our places, I was immediately blinded by one of the spotlights. Teacher was just a dark shadow. I told him “I can’t see anything!” He just said “it’s fine, don’t worry about it.” It sounds dismissive, but I’ve learned that it’s what Teacher says when it’s go time and it doesn’t matter what hiccups there are because it’s too late to do anything. You just have to roll with it. So I just prayed I would be able to see his hand when he extended it. Luckily, I could see movement and I extended my hand slowly just in case I was wrong!
I was pretty pleased with my performance, and I didn’t have any major anxiety or shaking from adrenalin. I know I forgot to keep my lats down, but I was happy with my developpe.
Maintaining my conviction to continue to put myself out there, here is the video:
I feel like the dance was way too short! Teacher told me ahead of time that he would roll me out for a bow after we went through our routine once, which amounted to about one minute. Usually a showcase routine is about two minutes long. But ours was just a demonstration.
One short minute and it was over. I took my bow, the audience applauded and it was over. Teacher immediately disappeared to change for his performance in Act 2.
After receiving congratulations from friends, I ended up sitting by myself to watch the rest of the first act. There were some amazing performers! But darkness hit me hard and fast, and my mood quickly crashed. Suddenly, I wanted nothing more than to go home and curl up in bed.
As usual, I took the time to analyze why I was feeling so awful after a performance that went well and everyone seemed to enjoy. I think it boils down to the fact that the high came and went in the blink of an eye.
I wrote about how social dancing isn’t enough for me and I crave the challenge of competition in Ask the Girl Episode 2. But this performance made me realize that I also value the fact that competition allows me to perform multiple times before it’s all over and I have to return to reality. With any showcase or dance recital performance, you go out and dance once, maybe twice if there are multiple showtimes. If you mess up or forget something, oh well!
At competition, if I forget something or make a mistake in my first round, I have other rounds to try again! I work too hard to save money and to perfect my dancing (an impossible task!) for it to be all over in just one dance. The showcase experience ends too abruptly!
I did not run home to sulk in bed. I made myself a cup of tea to relax while I waited out the darkness. There was social dancing in between the acts, and I hoped someone would ask me to dance, strongly suspecting that would help. I was asked, and after the second dance, the clouds started to lift. Watching Act 2 was a little rough, but by the end of the night and more social dancing after the show ended, I was feeling better.
Although I would have liked a longer “last” performance, I have to take what I can get. And keep searching for those creative solutions! Like I keep writing (to convince myself as much as you), I’ll get back out on the floor one way or another!