After Wednesday’s feelings of uncertainty and negativity, I pushed my negative thoughts to the curb and just danced.
On Thursday night I lit some candles, hauled out a mirror and practiced for a couple of hours in my living room. I did it with the music. Without. I worked on small sections to make sure I understood the flow and drilled a couple of moves that needed work.
By Friday I felt much more secure and ready to shine. I reviewed my notes on the streetcar on my way into work (I feel bad for whoever was sitting next to me aka the weird shaking girl on the streetcar) while listening to the song on my ipod. When I arrived at the theatre, everyone was excited and our class was one of the first groups to get onstage to run our piece.
Our class has been together for quite awhile now and we’ve become very close. Everyone in that class is so supportive and we were all excited to be onstage doing the beautiful choreography that Zahira created for us.
To be honest, I wasn’t nervous.
After running it on the stage, I got myself ready, ran it with the girls and ran it on my own with my ipod a few times, but I wasn’t stressing! I knew the choreography to the best of my ability and regardless of what was going to happen in those 2 minutes and 41 seconds onstage, no one was going to die. I felt good. To kill some time, we took lots of pictures while we waited for our turn.
Betcha you didn’t know that I have a tattoo AND a navel piercing?
When it was finally our turn, the girls and I were buzzing!! There was a beautiful solo right before us, and as we watched from backstage, I felt the excitement of the performance building inside of me. There was no turning back now!
Performing the routine was exhilarating. With all my performance experience in musical theatre, I love being onstage and just revel in an opportunity to smile and shimmy in front of people (and not have to worry about music, lyrics or lines)!! Our dance was extremely well-received and we got some great comments from audience members. One of our classmates (who decided not to perform, but watched the show instead) approached me and asked how I had learned the choreography so quickly, even though I had missed a bunch of classes. I felt so proud of myself and the performance I gave!!
What can I take away from this experience?
I love belly dancing! It makes me feel confident, sexy and very comfortable in my body, crop top and all!! One of my goals for next year (a list which has already been created) is to perform a solo in one of the student hafla shows at the studio – so excited!! I’m also looking forward to continuing class with these beautiful women and wonderful teacher.
The negative self talk really needs to go. There’s no reason for it even to creep in and make a guest appearance in my thoughts. My teacher commented the following to me last week after my amazing thought post: “One of the most valuable lessons I learned from her was to: yes take my dance seriously but NOT take myself too seriously at all... meaning: you practice and practice and practice, and that's great and that brings you to do and achieve new horizons on your dance but only if you don't get in the way of your own growth with constant unhealthy negative thinking. We're our own worst enemies most of times, and it is paramount to cut the crap of self-bashing...”
I was talking with many of the girls in my class before our performance about this same premise, and I talked about it in my meetings on Saturday again. We can be our own worst enemies when we stand in the way of our own success by thinking and believing our negative thoughts. Cut the crap and turn it around into something positive. You have nothing to lose but a lifetime of unnecessary self-loathing.
How do you feel when you’ve accomplished something or have reached a goal? Any other performers out there? Do you enjoy being onstage?