Panic at the Studio

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So, last night was a bit weird ….

I had just finished my last post and I thought I was looking forward to the studio’s anniversary party.  Didn’t quite turn out the way I was expecting.

One of the reasons I’m semi-obsessed with personality type stuff is that there are things that happen to me that can be a bit unsettling.  And I wonder if it is truly “normal”.  Well, there may not really be a normal but at least I read about other people feeling and going through some of the same things and then it doesn’t seem so unusual.

Maybe it isn’t really things, maybe it is just one thing.  (Will you just stop with the preamble and get to the point??)  OK, it is the speed and intensity at which certain emotions can hit me.  Unfortunately, not the happy ones so it is mainly the intense sad ones.  Sometimes it will come because I get a certain “vibe” or thought in my head and that triggers the emotional response.

The only thing I can think of is that in writing the post yesterday I put myself in a nostalgic mindset where I could draw back on those early memories from the first couple of years at this studio.  I know it couldn’t have been nothing but good times but time has dulled the edge of whatever bad stuff might have happened.  And I guess I miss those times more than I thought.  Because, walking in, I suddenly felt like an alien.  The studio that has been my dance home for these last nine years was sending off the “you don’t belong here” vibe.

Some of this could still be ego and jealousy.  But I’m kind of in a unique position in the studio.  There are Z’s students, OwnerGuy’s students, Z and OwnerGuy’s students, newbies who having advanced far into Bronze and me.   There are a couple of others who are close but I can easily feel like an island – maybe like Iceland, part of Europe but so far away from the rest.  And there are perks of being students of the studio owners.  Maybe in some way, I was just the show pony that other dancers could use as a model.  In some ways, it was all an illusion but, at the same time, it felt good to be special.

Now, there are more times when I feel like an afterthought.  Some washed up 80’s band playing at local county fair on the free stage because that is the only venue where I can still get booked.  That’s the thought I started to get.  You’ve worn out your welcome here, it is time for you to move on so someone else can take your place.  You’re not the alpha dog anymore so why are you even here.

The evil thing though is that this negative force launched a direct attack on my self-confidence.  And, if you’ve read anything here, you know I don’t have a lot of strong defenses around that.  So we are practicing the Fox Trot for the evening performance and I actually started to panic a little bit.  This very strong and very powerful feeling that was telling me to run as fast and as far as possible from the studio.  That I had no business trying to do this demonstration and that I was going to screw it up royally.

Kid T could sense that something was wrong which probably wasn’t hard since I was becoming more and more non-responsive and just kind of staring into the distance.  I do feel sorry for her.  I’m sure all the other lessons are light and frothy and full of fun and I’m dragging her into my emotional abyss.  She eventually mentioned something about needing to find a way to build my confidence back up which is just too easy to shatter.  It pains me to say this since men are not supposed to be like this but I was actually feeling a little sick to my stomach and I was close to tears.  Probably shouldn’t be telling you that but then you already know I’m not the world’s most masculine man (but I know what I am)

The party started and they did a little group class first and then started the general dancing.  I wasn’t feeling it so I sat out most of the dances.  It was a weird feeling sitting there and watching all the shiny happy people dancing in the dark.  Like I was watching it on TV because I felt detached.

The good news is that the Fox Trot went off well.  I was on the floor with another couple demonstrating the “silver” level of dancing.  At the beginning she looked at me and said they were coming for us.  We nearly collided at the end but we laughed about that.  One of the people who was there for the party told me I looked like a natural out there.  So it was good.  And I did end up doing some social dancing as well.

I left early because I had done my Fox Trot and I was worn out from all the needless panic.   As we finished the Silver, OwnerGuy told the crowd that they didn’t have anyone in Gold so they were going to show off a more choreographed routine to give the newbies an idea of what might be possible.  But it was Z and Tex doing it and not me.  I wasn’t even asked.  It could very well be because Tex is missing Showcase but he’s more into competing than performing.  If you want an entertaining routine, I’m your huckleberry.  As I said at the beginning, there are perks of being a student of Z.  You get those opportunities and you get to feel special and like the top dancer in the studio.  But not being picked to perform a routine hurt a bit.

So where does that leave me?  Oh, the deep sadness of last night has faded as you might have guessed by some of the wording in this post.  These things wash over and then recede rather quickly.  But it also helped that one of the random blogs I follow posted something that spoke to me.  Guess I have a few days to ponder things.  Hopefully, the dark thoughts won’t return on my next visit to the Famous Franchise.




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