Fear and Loathing

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So, last night I had a lesson at Studio B and it went … poorly.  As you might have guessed given the title of this post.  The fear and panic I started to feel last week hit me like a gale force wind last night.  The loathing part is how I feel about myself given how the lesson went last night.

There was just so much that kept going wrong.  Parts I thought I knew that I couldn’t remember.  And then one mistake lead to another and to another and the panic just took over.  She had another instructor there to try and show me a part that they did on video so I could see it live.  I watched and I couldn’t pick up how I was supposed to move the various parts even though he demoed it multiple times.  He tried to talk me through it and I guess I got something close but who the hell knows if I’ll be able to replicate it next week.

I was reading and reviewing the notes but I couldn’t form a mental picture of some of the steps so I didn’t know where my arms went or the alignments and more things just started to go horribly wrong.  I really wanted to just run out of the studio screaming “I CAN’T DO THIS” is the loudest possible voice.  Well, maybe not the screaming part but I was seriously wanting to just run as fast as could and as far away from the studio as possible.  I’m thinking of how I should know this stuff by now and now she probably thinks I’m an idiot who can’t learn anything.

It was funny because we started talking about the last lesson where she added music for the first time which triggered a minor freak out and then she wanted to know if I typically get this way before performances.  Well, yes I do.  It is one of my best qualities – NOT.  And as things were collapsing and I’m trying to compose myself but more things kept going wrong and I couldn’t stay on top of it.  The only thing that marginally calmed me down was discussing that I really didn’t have to do the upcoming performance.  Not that I want to back out and feel like a quitter but, it is true.  I’m really not out anything and if I decide I’m not ready then I can always say no and just keep working on it.

At the end of the lesson, we did get through a tough section of one of the dances.  Had to broken into pieces with each step and arm movement spelled out.  I took some notes and I’m trying to visualize it in the hopes that it sticks with me until next week.

I don’t know why I’m having such a block here.  We talked about some solutions but I just don’t know what is going to work for me.  The only way I really learn is to do and lock it into my muscle memory so I can just visualize it over and over again.  For some reason, these are escaping me.  There are parts I get and parts that just bounce off me.  I wish I had an answer and it has to be frustrating for her as it is for me.  I think there has to be some different way to make this work but I have no idea what it is.

I’m still trying to get a feel for this place as well but it hasn’t helped that I’ve been missing the parties and so my only interaction is my weekly lesson.  I know people know me but I also don’t want to be this random guy who just shows up at the performance.  Everyone would be like “who’s this guy?”.  Well, not literally everyone since I do know several people but it could feel like that.

So why even do this?  Good question.  I don’t always know the why behind certain actions – sometimes I just have a sense that something is the right thing to do.  And I do believe that exploring another studio and interacting with another instructor is ultimately a good thing for me for a lot of reasons.  But it isn’t comfortable yet and that just brings all the fear and doubt really close to the surface where it doesn’t take more than a slight crack to get them to explosively erupt and take over.

Last night was not a good night.  But now I have to clear my head and shift to the Famous Franchise for a couple of nights.  And I have to hope that something sticks with me so next week is better.



  1. Tsk, Tsk — there you go again, beating yourself up. You’ve taken not one, but several huge steps–you’re trying out a new studio, you’re working with a new instructor, and you’re game enough to tackle a new showcase routine. You haven’t just pushed out of your comfort zone, you’ve blown the doors off !!

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