To dance is to abandon self-consciousness completely and let go.
There isn’t anything better than that.
But, in every dance studio there are walls of mirrors. “You” are everywhere. No escape. To dance is to spend most of your life in front of a mirror, judging yourself and comparing everything. Judgement is not conducive to abandonment. Yet, without the mirrors – how do you know if you’re good enough?
A quandary. How to let go while making sure your ribs are down, your feet are pointed, your knees are pulled up, shoulders are down, pants aren’t up your…, you aren’t pulling your pants out of your..,your face is relaxed, you are skinnier than the blonde next to you. And sucking your cheeks in so you look emaciated only works until you are about 18. After that you are forced to confront the truth. You have full cheeks, yet you still want to dance.
Here’s how I’ve worked this out:
Listen to the music. It is actually the most important thing.
Force yourself, with every ounce of control, to look only at yourself in the mirror to correct your own personal lines. “Dance in the body you have.” (Agnes DeMille)
Remind yourself daily that – with this dogged determination – you can have the chance to live for a moment and dance in complete abandonment.
“Good enough” is relative, unfortunately, usually relative to the blonde next to you. But, sometimes, she doesn’t show up.
Reason #2 to Dance: Socially acceptable abandonment. And it’s more than wonderful.
Now, aging in front of a mirror, while still dancing – there’s a fun and delightful exercise – but not recommended without adult supervision. I wish I knew an adult.
Anyway…Anyone else with another reason to dance?
Reason # 3 arriving soon – ish.