11May

Stepping Out of the Box

WEIRD MAKE UP and TONGUES STICKING OUT

I have never been one to be particularly “afraid” of trying new things. My mother was a 4-H adviser for 30 years, so it was almost expected all of her children (6 of us) join and take part in the activities. At the age of ten, I decided I was going to do the county Speak Up contest. At that time, the contest consisted of about 50 to 100 kids all speaking about safety topics. My mom tried to talk me out of it, but I was convinced I could do it. This doesn’t mean I wasn’t scared. I was so nervous – butterflies going crazy in my gut. But I did the speech, without looking at my notes, and won an honorable mention (a fourth place). Getting up in front of people has never been something I have shied away from, in MOST contexts.

I think this is something that has carried over and influenced me in dance. I know there are certain styles I am better at, but I feel like I must try everything at least once. This has been easier said than done. I try to motivate others, too. I tell my troupe mates all the time, “if I am getting up there and trying this, so can YOU!” It isn’t because I am not scared, but because I feel like it is imperative to face my fears and overcome them! A life lived in fear is not living, it is dying.

Recently, I talked the gals into dancing with a live drummer at a fundraising festival. This was no easy task! We were dancing some tribal style (kinda) and most had never danced to a live drummer before. It is a scary, scary thing the first time! It’s like you are inviting an unstable element to the bubble you have built in order to perform. It could go well….it could go very, very badly. I figured, what better place to break everyone in (including myself, as I hadn’t done this in about six years or so) than a low pressure, fun fundraiser. Even better, one of our fav teachers and fellow dancers (not lying…she makes me go fan-girl gooey), Laylia was lining up the show.

After a few painful practices and some simplifications ( i was getting way too far ahead of myself), we were ready….ish. We DID IT! We did some tribal….we did some improv…WE SURVIVED THE LIVE DRUMMER! I feel we also discovered we have a bit more chutzpah, each of us solo and collectively, than we thought we had before!

So kudos to my troupe mates! Well done, ladies! We stepped outside that box….and lived to talk about it πŸ˜‰

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