Friday, July 16, 2010

Dance Ramble

oh gosh. enjoy this piece of self humiliation. cute costume, right?

As my mom was cooking dinner, some great music came streaming from the kitchen. I had the urge to get up and have a dance party by myself, so I did. Bad idea. Immediate tachycardia and general weakness for the rest of the night. Oops! I remember a time in my life where dance WAS my life. I began taking dance classes at the age of 6 and kept on dancing until I was 15. I started off as a regular little girl who took dance lessons once a week and performed in the yearly recital. But by 5th grade dance had become so much more to me. I auditioned for a competitive group and made it in with the seniors. By the time I was in 6th grade, I had dance practice Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 4:00-9:30, Tuesday, Thursday from 4:00-10:30, and Saturdays from 8:00-2:00. I literally would wear my leotard under my clothes to school and go straight to the dance studio. Getting ready in the mornings, I remember packing a lunch for school and a dinner for dance. We always had a 30-45 minute break at dance to eat or do homework. All of this madness was only during off seasons…during competition season, which spans from March to May, all of this time was spent at the studio, but Fridays after dance we would stay for costume fittings, before jumping in the car for competition weekends which lasted from Friday nights to Sunday nights. It was a lot of hard work and we trained hard, but it was so fun and exciting. I formed some of my deepest friendships at the studio, since we all had a common interest and spent so much time together. We laughed about things others wouldn’t find funny; the Dansco brand shoes someone bought by accident, the plum eye shadow someone had instead of violet, the fake eyelashes and the glue that stuck your eyelids together, the Vaseline on our teeth. We did crazy things for competitions….waking up at 5:00am to put in fake hair, makeup, Vaseline on our teeth, make sure you’re wearing the right tights, costume, and shoes. Is your hair in a low pony for this one or a high bun? Are you wearing your body tights, or the footless ones? Do you have an extra hair net, my 800 bobby pins ripped mine! Oh no, I left my red lipstick in my other dance bag! Mom, I have to pee but I’m wearing underwear, tights, bloomers, spandex, and a unitard! Do I have time to eat a granola bar before we go on next? What dance is next? I know, I know, remember to smile. Kissy faces. Do I start stage left or stage right? Did you see how many judges were out there? The stage isn’t as wide as we thought, shorten all moves! My costume ripped, my tights have a run, and I’m tired. My hair piece doesn’t match my hair anymore! Why is HE in the dressing room? Where is my mom? Is the stage marked? Mom, we’re gonna run out of hairspray and destroy the ozone, can you stop it!? ALL of these things and more can be heard backstage at any given competition. It sounds stressful, and it is. But it’s what bonded us girls, and sometimes guys, together. There is no greater feeling then sitting on stage during awards and getting a platinum award while your teacher and parents cry with excitement and pride. There’s no greater feeling then going out to dinner with your group after a 15+ hour day and feel like you have all of the excitement and adrenaline in the world. There is no greater feeling then running through the hotel and finding all the other dancers, when really, you should have no energy left. And as much as I hated it at the time, there is no greater feeling then going to school on Monday and hearing what everyone else did during their weekends, and when they ask you and you try to explain all the hair, makeup, dancing, adrenaline, and awards, they roll their eyes. It’s a bond. It’s a release. And there is no greater feeling. I remember going to dance some days and being so stressed about school, homework, or family, but once my feet hit the smooth, grey floor, it all went away. Nothing mattered while I was dancing. So, no, maybe I’m not the healthiest person. And maybe I can’t go back to doing double pirouette turns and scissor leaps across the floor. But that’s not what I’m looking for. I’m looking for the dance or music or something that will allow me to feel that same feeling, that in the moment…nothing else matters.

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