Monday, August 29, 2011

Dancers Don't Pay for Drinks

Why is it so hard to extend the same kindness to ourselves that many of us gladly offer to others?

Christopher K. Germer PhD. The Mindful Path to Self-Compassion: Freeing Yourself from Destructive Thoughts and Emotions (Kindle Location 24). Kindle Edition. 

The whole idea came about as a sort of accident. I wasn't really planning to do it. Just last Thursday, I had admitted to a couple of girls in dance class that I wasn't ready to do a solo performance at the Halloween party. But when they insisted that I didn't have anything to worry about, the idea started to marinate.

Friday morning, I realized what song I would do if I had the chance. I figured that maybe I could pay attention to the improvisational way I was dancing and lock in a choreography. That turned out to be really difficult, because the cataloging part of my brain kept getting overshadowed by pure expression in the dance; so I shot off a message to my private instructor and she said that she'd help.

So Friday night I went to a potluck for a support group in Ogden. I didn't make it back to bed until about 3 in the morning. About 10 am, I got a sweet singing voice calling me to wish me good morning and ask if I would take and love Callie the Kitty forever and ever. Turns out that she wasn't getting along with her adopted sister and I made a rush to get food and a litter box from the store before bringing her back to my place. From the paperwork, it looks like she's due her next round of shots and I'll have to take her in Saturday.

Once she was settled, and I had finished my morning therapy and bath, I finally got on my laundry. I squeezed in a little practice before going to the Hafla at a local coffee shop, and when I saw the way the red hip scarf looked on my black skirt, I knew I had to dress up for the event and maybe dance if I were invited. I had Deborah help get me into the tribal bra when she showed up at my place and after a bit of makeup, I wrapped myself in the brown veil. We arrived at the coffee shop long before anyone else and I was struck by how intimate the setting was. I was expecting a dance party, not to actually be part of the entertainment.

When Kelsey, my instructor, arrived, she asked if I wanted to dance. I said, "I'll dance." She came back a little while later and gave me my sequence in the line up. I decided I was going to go for it and make my entrance with a veil routine before shucking the veil for the rest of my improv.

The song seemed to last much longer than it felt when practicing and when I started the shimmy, it had a mind of it's own and lasted until the rest of the dance as I wondered how I was going to come out of it. I wound up just layering on it and just barely noticed the wind down of the music as my cue to make a graceful exit. The audience was small, but when I sat down with one of the people who recognized me from the apartment complex, said that she could tell I've been doing this for years. But the bigger compliment came from my instructor, who simply said I did good.

As I was outside getting air with the other dancers, the owner of the coffee shop (herself a dancer) asked if anyone would like more coffee. After  I snuck back to my purse, and returned to the bar with my wallet, I ordered a small mocha. When I tried to pay with my debit card, I was told flatly, "Dancers don't pay for drinks." Wow. I was being treated as an entertaining professional, instead of just a participating customer. I made it a point to get a dollar or two from Deborah so I could drop it in the tip jar when I had the chance.

Hugs and God Bless,
Sophie Jean

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