Nervous Breathing

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A little more about Friday night.  I do still get a case of stage fright from time to time.  Not sure when or what will trigger it.  I think I handled the group heats at showcase a little better because there were lots of couples of the floor but there is something about being out there with just your partner with everyone looking at you that still gets to me.  While we were practicing the fox trot, I did tell my instructor that it really didn’t matter if we messed it up because as long as we got a couple of the steps to look good, it will still be impressive to the newcomers because most of them have not observed ballroom dancing up close.  There is a certain magic about watching two people move as one and we had some flashy steps that would show that off so my rational mind was all over the fact that we didn’t need to be perfect and that there really wasn’t anything to be nervous about.

Of course, my rational mind can’t keep my emotional side in check forever and as we were practicing both the fox trot and tango, I just started thinking about being out there and wanting to look good and it was starting to get to me a bit.  It is not that I don’t like performing because there is a large part of me that just loves getting out there.  I wonder how many other introverts enjoy being the center of attention from time to time.  I’m not a big believer in astrology but, if you are, you might want to read about the Cancer-Leo cusp since that is where I fall.  I said I don’t really believe in it but it doesn’t stop me from reading about things because who really knows what goes in to making us what we are.  The descriptions talk about the conflict being the Cancer need for solitude and the Leo need to be the center of attention and how the mix can be shy with a bit of flamboyance.  I read that and it does make me think a bit.

But this isn’t about astrology (you may be wondering what the heck this is about and what the title means since I haven’t talked about it yet, but I’m getting to it).  From time to time, I get a glimpse of just how tuned into me my instructor is as we are dancing.  I wish I was more in tune with her but I tend to be a bit dense about others so I tend to miss a lot of the subtleties.  So, as we were practicing before the party on Friday, she makes a comment about how I had started “nervous breathing”.  Took me back a bit and still does a couple of days later.  I knew I was nervous but I had no idea that it would be obvious in my breathing.  I wasn’t sensing doing anything different but she clearly picked up on it.  This is the first time she’s made that statement but it clearly was not the first time she felt it or recognized it.  As an introvert, there are parts of me that I prefer to keep hidden from the rest of the world so having someone inside my head like that was a little freaky which may be why she hasn’t gone there before.  Now I wonder what else she knows or senses about me that I’m not aware I’m projecting.

It is hard to explain why this sticks with me.  She’s a very accomplished dancer and following is all about responding to cues from your partner.  Looking at that, it should not be too much of a shock to know that she’s picked up on a few things that I’m not aware of.  Maybe it is like a good poker play who is able to read people and figure out their “tells” so it might be something that just comes automatically to her.  But it really isn’t part of my skill set so I guess I’m impressed that someone else is able to do that.  I can’t even hear her breathe so I would have no clue.   Maybe something else for me to try to work on.

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