I was reading something yesterday about introverts and obsessions and the tone of the article was about how you can be consumed by a passion for a certain period of time and then the spark goes out and you move on. I don’t know if it particularly applies to introverts or whether they are more prone to it but the author mentioned her own obsession with dancing as something that had faded. I wonder sometimes if my passion has started to dim and whether that is something I should fight or just let occur if it is true.
My goals for dancing have always been fuzzy and unclear. Basically, I like the way dancing makes me feel and I like the things it has opened my mind to and I just want more of that feeling. It is something of a spiritual thing to me (pertaining to the spirit or soul, as distinguished from the physical nature) just to toss a definition out there. Just a few minutes ago, a good Viennese Waltz came on my Pandora and I could feel myself moving on a dance floor. I could feel the gliding steps and the rush of air as we move around the floor. I love that dance has given me this. It is almost like the songs become three dimensional. Of course, in my mind, I don’t feel the aching in my knees and feet that accompany real dancing but that’s a minor point.
I’ve found that I actually get a similar feeling from writing but only when I’m in the zone and I can just sit here and free form words and phrases and ideas. Something about it flowing naturally from my mind to the computer screen and watching a post take shape that hits some part of my brain. So writing becomes an obsession at times although I hit blocks where the ideas just don’t flow. The best part about writing is that I don’t have the drudgery of practice and repetition that are necessary to make a dance work. Here, I can just come in and engage my mind and let the words fly. I’m sure it makes my writing less disciplined and, if I ever decided to give this a go, I’m sure we’d all benefit from a little more structure rather than my free form rambling. But, I’ve got to be me and, for now, you’ll just get more of my disjointed thoughts. Trust me, they all make sense in my head but it kind of becomes a “SQUIRREL” moment. I think of something different and I naturally have to go down that path in my head and it comes out on the computer screen.
But, back to what was sort of the point of this post, which is the passion of the dance. I know I haven’t completely lost it. The Maleficent routine still excites me although we are reaching the point where the choreography is basically finished and now it is about rehearsing it over and over again so it gets drummed into my muscles. This is where things start to drag for me so I feed the obsession by thinking about the costume. I’ve got the shirt on order but I’m thinking of what else I could do to pull it off. So the obsession has shifted slightly from the dance to how I’m going to look doing the dance. That seems a little weird but it does help to keep my interested.
And it could be that the fear and anxiety of prepping for the Big Dance Event are keeping my mind focused on the wrong things so I can’t just relax and get into the music and the experience. Like I said, I can hear a song on Pandora and I can feel myself dancing to it. Then, I get on a lesson and my focus is on my posture, my head, my frame, the shaping, the lead and all the other little details that are needed to make a dance stand out from the crowd. And this brings up the paradox because I kind of want to stand out but I hate getting so wrapped up in those little details. It is like wandering through a stretch of woods and focusing intently on identifying ever tree, shrub, weed and insect. You lose track of the big picture and the beauty of the forest you are walking through. I really just want to dance and forget about all those things but I know that I still need to focus on them or they slip and things suffer. So how do I keep one eye on the big picture which is where my passion lies and the other part on the little details that is what everyone else wants from me? I don’t really know but I have to figure out some way because I know that getting into the details can really sap my spirit. I used to think that knowing how the pieces fit together was the answer but, that doesn’t really help. I know that head weight is crucial to allowing certain movements to work better but it doesn’t really seem to make it any easier to focus on. You know cough syrup is good for you, but, even when they try to cover it up with fake cherry, it still can be hard to swallow. As silly as this may sound, the comments about frame and posture seem like rules and seem more confining than freeing. Then again, you can’t be truly free so I need to find a way to coexist with the rules.
I think I’ve effectively answered my own question. I haven’t lost the passion. It may flicker like lights in a thunderstorm but we just need the storm to pass and then they will burn brightly again. Just have to make sure the storm doesn’t drop a tree limb on the power lines and take the lights out. Even then, it is fixable but it can take much longer and leave me in the dark for some period of time.
I wonder if it would be silly to just ask for 5 minutes or so on each lesson to just dance something without worrying about the other things. Not that I would toss them out the window because I could still try to focus on them. But to just give me an opportunity to dance without thinking and so I can just feel and let go. Of course, being me, I would want feedback or I would feel something slip up and then I’d just pound myself for screwing up and it would destroy whatever benefit I might receive.
Well, how about some other stuff. I had another lesson at Studio B last night. The pieces are slowly coming together but there are still parts I struggle with. Mostly the shaping where arms and legs have to move at once and often in different ways and my brain can’t keep up. We haven’t talked about doing these in front of an audience but that’s fine because they are still too new to be worried about that. It is a bit of a challenge to only do this once a week since I’m not retaining as well as I would if we were doing these more often. I think I have to go back to my notes and see if I can reconstruct each routine. It would at least tell me the parts to focus on.
I don’t think I mentioned that I went to the group class on Friday night at Studio B. Hilde cancelled at the last minute so I had my usual bit of inner turmoil deciding whether to go or not. In the end, I was glad I went although the men outnumbered the women again. Not sure how I keep lucking into places with a surplus of men. Maybe there just aren’t too many female dancers in my part of the country. I decided not to stay for the party though given the make up of genders. I could have danced with Mindy but that’s still a little intimidating at this point. Baby steps.
I’m still enjoying the work at Studio B. There is a definite focus on styling and shaping which is something we are still just getting into at the Famous Franchise. Clear difference in teaching styles which is a good thing. So this routine is going to stretch me but it doesn’t feel totally out of reach. I wish I could see some of the other students though. Not that I’m competitive but I would like a general idea of where I stand.
Well, I back at the Famous Franchise for the next three days. Kid T is out so Sunny is pinch hitting tonight. I’m going to have to cancel one of my lessons tomorrow since I’m in a meeting until 5PM and there I’d need everything to be perfect to make it home, get dinner and get out there for my 6:45 lesson. It will be less stressful to just cancel that and make it out later for my 8PM lesson.
Now, for something completely different. The inspiration for the post. Honeymoon Suite – and, yes, I still have a CD from them. I was seriously into this type of music in the 80’s. Not really hair metal but it rocked a bit. But the hair in this video. Oh my.