Overcoming PTFD

A quick post during my lunch break …

Let’s add PTFD to my list of afflictions with acronyms: Post-Traumatic Flamenca Disorder. I just spent a few minutes reviewing the video of my solo performance in May. Yikes! I hadn’t reviewed it in a couple months because it was much too painful watching it the first few times and reliving it over and over just seemed like self-torture. But, in the spirit of progress, I knew it was time to confront my fears and click “play” once again.

While watching myself struggle through a solea por buleria with a tense frame and unsure feet was uncomfortable, it was also encouraging. First of all, I was scared as heck out there and fumbled a few times, but I hung in there and finished. Yay, me! That was my first victory. Second, I feel I’ve made progress since then because I recognize about 87 things in that performance that I need to fix. If I danced it at this very moment, I know it would be better than it was three months ago — partly because I’ve had three months to think about it, and partly because I’ve had three more months of instruction and practice. I think that when you’re learning flamenco, every teeny tiny bit of instruction and rehearsal makes a difference because the dance is full of little nuances that make it beautiful. So even recognizing that I need to keep my shoulders down and elbows out, for instance, is going to make my next presentation different.

I thought I looked very stiff and nervous and now I wonder why. I mean, I know why — it was my first time out there alone. But having gone through it once, a lot of things have clicked inside my head. I think back to the many things my teacher taught me before the show and now it all makes so much more sense. So now, watching the video with a new and improved understanding of things, I can better prepare for next time. And next time, I might have a few harmless butterflies but I won’t have that intense, newbie fear.

Those are my random thoughts of the day. Now back to work.


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