Just Dance

Monday, December 7, 2009

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.

14760_223333222801_515622801_4201183_335572_n SANY2716 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,SANY2718 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.SANY2712 SANY2723SANY2714SANY2719

   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?


LizNoVeggieGirl said...

I've been a dancer, a musician, an actress, a skater, an athlete, an artist, a "pageant gal"... lots of performances, recitals and competitions in my lifetime, for sure. Without trying to sound "into myself," I DO feel very accomplished.

And I love belly dancing!! What fun you had - and the tattoo is awesome, haha :)

Here's to having more of those "just dance" moments when feeling stressed - they help me as well!

Tricia said...

So fun! congrats!

Pining for Pinterest said...

I wish I could dance. It has been always something that interested me! I love the pictures :-)

GF Gidget said...

"What's your name, is a very different question from, Who are you?".
- Wonderland the musical
This quote struck me as something you might enjoy. All that negative self talk can be banished by simply asking yourself, "Who am I"!

Unknown said...

Congrats! I took belly dancing classes several years ago, and wish I had continued on with it. You rock!

Pure2raw Twins said...

I do not think I could be a dancer like you ;) I do not have any dancing capabilities.... sports are more my thing. Though, belly dancing has always intrigued me. Maybe one day

Megan said...

thats so cool that you belly dance!
was it hard to learn?

Ashley Gibson said...

Thanks all!

Meg - I've been taking class for a year and a half and I love it! I've taken other types of dance (ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical, music theater) but it's great because you can start at any age and many people in the classes have never taken any sort of dance class before.

The music is wonderful and I have found an amazing teacher who gives us a great workout and pushes us. I've moved up over the last year and it has really become a passion of mine. It's a great way to feel comfortable with your body!! I *highly* recommend trying out a class or checking out a DVD!

Juli Fenner said...

Aw, great post. It makes me happy to see people with a passion for dancing! I used to dance jazz and "Brazilian carnaval style dancing", but I had a knee surgery and had to stop... this broke my heart... BUT, nowadays my hobby is to dance salsa! I love it so much - it's magical to just let the music flow through your body and simply dance :) So much fun!

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