Dance/life lessons

Mondays are typically throw-away downer days for me. I’m usually tired, whiny, cranky and unmotivated. But I find that looking forward to an evening dance session helps keep me from that “it’s Monday and I’m already feeling defeated” feeling. So I crashed the bulerias class again tonight (so did Doña – yay!).

I’m digging the review I’m getting. It’s amazing how having prior experience can change the way you take in and digest information. When you’re very new to it, you’re most worried about just hearing the music, at least I was. Because how could I even think about doing a turn or some fancy foot thing when I couldn’t even tell where I was in the compás? I imagine the younger generation in class feels this way, too, because I can almost see the wheels spinning in their heads as they anticipate their turn in the circle. I hope they know that it won’t always be this way.  For me, it’s finally fun. Even if I can’t quite remember the little tricks Rina just taught and I go out there and screw up, it’s fun because I’m able to think about it at a different level. Plus, after a couple of years with the same classmates (who are all very nice and supportive!), you get comfy and you lose all sense of shame and you’re finally able to just jump in there and do your thang, whatever that may be. It WILL happen.  More on this topic another time …

After bulerias, I did a mini-private with Rina so she could help me clean up some of the ugly things I do with my body. I still haven’t quite figured out what to with my long flailing arms and the claws attached to them, so I’ll be working on that a lot in the coming weeks. I’m feeling very motivated. And yet frustrated.

I love the dance. I hate that I started it when I was nearly 35.  I feel like somehow time is running out and I have to push myself as hard as I can now or I might miss my chance. Chance for what? I don’t know. I don’t have delusions of becoming a professional dancer. But I do have fantasies of being very good at it and that’s what keeps me going. I want to get as good as I can possibly get, just so I can know that I pushed myself to the absolute limit. But more than that, it’s just a beautiful, complex art and I want to be part of it, or want it to be part of me …

If I had found flamenco 10 years ago, I’d have cashed that sizable severance check I got upon being laid off by DIRECTV and taken my happy ass to Spain for a year instead of finishing grad school. No doubt. I said this to Doña last week and she said I ultimately did the right thing by getting the degree. I guess she’s right … I guess …

My thoughts are all over the place tonight, huh? I’ve been feeling like this in general over the last couple of weeks. And as I’m proofreading what I’ve just written, I realize that what I’ve said about flamenco could be applied to other areas of my life as well. Isn’t it weird how something as simple as a dance class can cause you to question/rethink/reevaluate things?


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