Time to take out the trash

It’s been more than a week since the show and I’m just now getting around to writing about it. I got sick immediately after the show, which isn’t surprising, since I was incredibly run down from the worry and extra practices. Then I had to quickly shift into last-minute Christmas shopping and wrapping mode. Now that I’m done with that, I can share a few thoughts.

I think it’s probably good that I didn’t have time to blog right after our performances or I might have over shared. Now that I’ve had time to think about it before putting my thoughts into print, I’m going to take a different approach to the post-show review.

The conductor of the chorale with which I sing tells us never to show our “learning curve” or reveal our mistakes to the audience after a performance; it’s not professional, and we’re supposed to be a professional group. So I generally don’t. But then, it’s more difficult to recognize mistakes in a chorale performance, unless maybe you’ve got a highly trained ear. In a student dance recital, that’s not quite the case. If one dancer in the group is off or if a soloist stumbles a bit, the audience will surely notice.

Still, there are probably things I/we did that the audience did not notice. So I’m going to leave those things alone. Why draw attention to things that the audience might not have been aware of?

One of my compañeras says she has a knack for forgetting her mistakes. I think this is a gift. On the flip side, what I have learned about myself in this process of learning and performing is that I have a knack for remembering EVERY misstep in EVERY choreography I EVER performed. EVER. This, I’m certain, is a curse.

So what I’ll say is, I made mistakes. Some big, some small, some really stupid that left me thinking, “WTF happened?!” and were hard to shake off. But I’m not going into detail here.

One of my New Year’s resolutions is get out of my head and quit obsessing over mistakes made in the past, both with the dance and in other areas of my life. If I don’t, I’ll never be able to move on and up. I just have to recognize them, learn from them and then let them go. Having years worth of crumpled up mistakes cluttering up my brain is not helping my progress. It’s time to take out the trash.

I’m looking forward to putting on my shoes and starting fresh in January. Happy New Year, everyone.

The hardest working ladies in show business

Last night, todas las flamencas ran through the entire program for Saturday and Sunday’s (sold out!) shows. It was a successful rehearsal and it was pretty cool to see it all come together after our months of hard work. And when it wasn’t my turn and I could watch the other dancers from the sidelines, it was clear that all of these lovely ladies take this as seriously as I do. This is why I love flamenco.

I have a few critiques about my own performance last night and I feel like if I write about it, it’ll somehow help me get my thoughts straight so I can do better in the actual shows. But I’ll keep this fairly short and sweet because I’ve got an awful hot/cold pain radiating through my lower back/upper butt area makes it terribly uncomfortable to sit at my computer. Here’s what I need to do:

1. Focus, but not too hard. I know the choreography and I’m fairly comfortable with compás, so why am I freaking out during a run-through? I’m psyching myself out for no good reason and my footwork is suffering as a result. Just do the dang dance, M, just like you do in class. Just let go and let the moves come.

2. Loosen up. I need to be strong without being hard, if that makes any sense. Like, I need to move with clear intention, yet with grace, rather than like some kind of non-elegant, heavy-hoofed buffalo. That’s what happens when I tense up — I lose the pretty angles. Gotta keep those muscles loose.

3. Breathe! Seriously. There were a few moments when I realized I wasn’t. And you know what’s not sexy? Passing out in the middle of a buleria and hitting the floor with a thud. Yeah, kind of a party killer, so I’ve got to remember to breathe in order to avoid becoming just a pile of ruffles on the floor.

So those are the things I’m thinking about tonight. I’m nervous, anxious, exhausted, excited, optimistic … so many feelings. But I’m sure my compañeras are feeling the same way, especially those who might be out there for the first time. But I guess those feelings are normal when you’ve worked so hard and you want so badly to do well.

Anyway, pray for me/us. And if you’ve got a ticket, I’m looking forward to seeing you and hope you enjoy the show!

Now back to my heating pad.