Just Dance

I’m going to be in a dance piece at the end of the month.

This is something that both thrills and terrifies me. Terrifies, because I like many women have obnoxious body issues stemming from among other more usual things, dance training. The dance world is a terrible world for body issues just ask Jenifer Ringer.

Also, I’m a bit terrified because I am thrilled. Dance thrills me; probably more so than any of the art forms. I have the earliest relationship to it; as a young young child I started classes and dancing to any and all available music and continued ballet, modern and jazz classes into college. It feels at once the most exposed I’ll ever be, and the most secure in my self, my body, which makes the aforementioned body image issues seem silly. Which, I suppose, they are.

Dancing, whether free form to disco-pop or in a choreographed piece is a kind of honor. It’s an honor to be able to move, to be able to hear and feel and express at the same time, bypassing reason and logic, and to enter into this cool, mindful/mindless space.

What’s helping me feel less intimidated about dancing again, after some 10 years of a hiatus, is actually a post that my husband wrote recently about his marathon training and the idea of potential.

I like what he has to say about the day to day exercise of using what you have to the best ability, knowing that it’s that building that is what counts, not necessarily the outcome.

“I like to see potential as a (lower-case) design. Something built of available materials. Day by day. And in that, our little actions have meaning and consequence: Making time to stretch a little every day made it possible for me to run 10 miles. High-fives and corny jokes on the good days keeps people feeling good about a team on the crappy, rainy, cold days. A large pile of small donations are going to add up to a pretty nice donation to the Austin Children’s Shelter. And so on.”

A little fear, a little willingness to face the fear. A little stretching, a little dancing, a little farther along.

Lady Gaga may seem a strange reference point in this piece, but first of all, this is a great song-an anthem of sorts. But also, it’s one of her first videos and you can see in it, the weird wild creature that would come out in later videos, the stylistic sartorial choices. The potential, actually.

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