A near truthful recording of internal thoughts during a first performance. And why you shouldn’t care what other people think.
April 14, 2018.
“Yep.” (Now or never… It’ll be fine. We’ve done this a million times beautifully)
Narrator voice: *but everything was not fine*
The music starts. I take his hand. I realize where I am. My heart rate skyrockets. My heart muscles are contracting stronger than ever before. The stress hormones — adrenaline, noradrenaline and cortisol course through me. My blood pressure must be through the roof now. Bright lights are on us, so everyone sitting on the perimeter of the dance floor fades into darkness. I close my eyes and try to breathe with him. Because I realize I need to stop analyzing what I feel like is an impending heart attack and just dance.
I know how to do this. What the hell.
Why does my body feel like it’s contracting. My left arm is going to fall off it’s so tense.
OH DEAR LORD WHY ARE WE GOING INTO OPEN EMBRACE, COME BACK!!!
Hee hoo. Breathing. Breathing is good.
Oh that was a nice cross there, good job. Keep it up.
Oh nice, that was so lovely and musical. Mmmm.. *opens eyes*
Errrmagosh people. *closes eyes*
Internal tear. Okay that wasn’t so bad. Just do what you’ve practiced. It’s no different here. You even have a nice floor.
Stop talking to yourself. Listen to the music dammit!
Last Saturday I had my first Argentine tango performance. It was one of the biggest learning experiences of my life. It made me realize the immense pressure we put on ourselves when we know someone else is watching. This crippling fear of judgment was just that- crippling. My body felt like it was contracting inwards. I couldn’t move freely. Watching footage of the performance I felt like I was performing at 40% of my capacity. I’m disappointed in myself for being so affected. But I am also so proud of myself, for doing something that terrified me. Something that took hard work, persistnence. Something I never dreamed I could do. After my ankle surgery I wasn’t sure I would be able to walk without pain again. Through hours of rehabilitation, diet changes, love, and belief that it could be better, I am dancing in heels again. It is a learning process. As I learn to let go of my fears I remain thankful to all of those who have supported me along this journey. Now it is time to dance like no one is watching.
A special thank you to the wonderful human being I was dancing with, Tomas, who always believed in me even when I didn’t believe in myself. My words cannot express how grateful I am for your care and support, and for this wonderful opportunity.