LWD (Life without Dance)

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I know I went through this the other day but it is still bouncing around inside my head.  So I am again thinking about what my life would be like without dancing.  If I were going to list the main things I get from dance, then would be:

  1. A creative outlet which I think I need and I don’t get at work.
  2. A social outlet which is also something I need.
  3. Physical activity which is clearly something I need.
  4. The sense of accomplishment when something goes right.
  5. And, of course, those fleeting moments especially when I get to perform.

Could I replace all of those?  Possibly.  I could devote more time to writing to provide a creative outlet.  There are certainly ways to get physical activity although it would take discipline.  There are certain advantages to having lessons on the books that you paid for since you kind of have to go.  If I were to say rely on doing the treadmill at home, I could see several evenings where I’d get on the internet and just get lost in something and find some reason to not do any exercise.

The fleeting moments would be difficult to replace as would the sense of accomplishment.  Maybe I could try to find some community theater thing if I wanted to perform.  (Don’t laugh, there is a family precedent for that because my Mom did some community theater after she retired so there’s acting genes in the family).

The social thing would be difficult as well.  There is work but at work you have defined roles and being a manager means some people treat me differently and there are many times when I really can’t be myself.  The hierarchy grates at me because a title does not mean that someone is better or smarter but many people assume that it does.  The social part is where I defy the stereotype of an introvert.  Trust me, I’m an introvert.  I spend way too much time inside my head and being introspective to be anything but an introvert.  I think that some of us introverted feelers just have a need to connect with people although we have limits.  So shutting that all out of my life would not be a good option.  I suppose I could invest more time in the blog thing and make connections that way but I don’t think having just virtual connections is going to be sufficient.

See, I had a bad lesson tonight.  We were doing the Rumba and Swing open routines which were the two open routines I knew best.  But there was rust on both of them and it frustrated me because everything should come back perfectly.  Have you ever had a step that you’ve done 1000 times and then all of sudden it feels alien and WRONG?!?  That happened with Swing near the end of the lesson and it got all inside my head which triggered even more thoughts about just calling it a day and moving on from dancing.  Because there is a part of me that really wonders whether it worth putting up with all the bad mental stuff that can come with dancing.

I suppose I could just scale back on the private lessons and move to a group class/social dancing model.  Studio B would work for that since they run multiple courses during a year.  It would certainly keep me in dancing and also provide that social outlet.  But if I kept dancing that way, I know I would miss learning and mastering a complicated solo routine.

I do rely a lot on what feels right to me.  But my internal guidance system is getting a lot of false signals and noise and I’m having trouble sorting it all out.

The problem is that this is also leading to many of the issues I’m currently having.  You have to be all in and right now I’m half in and half out.  (Well maybe it more like three quarters in and one quarter out but you get the picture).

Perhaps a couple of movie scenes will explain it better.  Thought of both of these on the ride home.

And here is the second.  Same general theme.

So if I do dance “guess so”, then I get squished like a grape.  Or in my case, it means I mess things up and then all the negativity demons come out to play.

Not to throw too big a pity party for myself but there are a couple of other things going on.  My knee is acting up again.  I got five months out of the last treatment which was supposed to last for six months although I think what I’m feeling now is different and more do to just general inflammation because it feels more stiff than painful.  (Well there is certainly some pain as well).  I don’t have time for another course of the treatment I had in December since that was three shots over a three week period.  I am seeing the knee doc next week and hoping that we can do a cortisone shot to knock back the inflammation and buy a couple more months.

Then, there are my feet.  Won’t go into it but I’ve also got some arthritis in my left big toe.  (Seriously, who gets arthritis in a freaking toe??)  Not a big deal until you try and do a lot of rise and fall and then it can start to hurt as well.   The foot doc has said we could do cortisone in the big toe if the pain becomes too much so I see her next week as well.  I also need to have some callouses shaved off the outside of my little toe.  They bend a bit outward and that part is continually getting irritated which only becomes a problem when I put on my dance shoes.  Yeah, I know you probably aren’t interesting in hearing about my feet but I only bring it up because dancing aggravates both which just gives me another reason to wonder if it is worth it.

Lastly, I’m kind of ashamed to admit this but I’ve gained back some of the weight I lost.  It’s not a lot but it is enough that I’m getting self-conscious about it again.  I’ve actually been afraid of putting on what I wore to the last Showcase because when you get dance stuff made, it is kind of form fitting and my form is a little larger.  But I decided to try on everything tonight.  The Latin shirt (which I love) is a little clingy but it still drapes a bit.  It doesn’t look horrible but it doesn’t look great.  The smooth vest will still work – the onesie shirt I wear underneath will hold some stuff in.  Yeah, I know it is all vanity but it goes to my self image and I can’t really enjoy the dancing if I’m worried about what I look like.

So that’s all the junk rattling around inside me.  I’m going to be fine for the studio B Showcase on Saturday.  I’ve only got to do the one dance and I’m comfortable with that.  The Famous Franchise Showcase is only 18 days away and I just signed up for a whole bunch of dances and there are very few that I’m comfortable with so I’m on the edge of a freak out.

To dance or not to dance, that is the question.  Bottom line is if I’m going to do Showcase at the Famous Franchise, then I have to get my head back in the game.  Or else there is no point because I’ll be squished like a grape.

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