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Posts for Dance Category

A Mother’s Blessing

We had all had rough days.

Some of us had had rough weeks, some of us were ill or in pain, or had emotional issues troubling us.

When I first realized this, getting ready in our bedroom in the early evening, I — of course — worried. Worried that we would all be too tired to enjoy ourselves. Worried that my dear ones had stressed themselves out, trying to pull together this Blessingway in my honor. Worried that our hearts would be in the right place but our bodies might not cooperate.

I dried my hair, and after I finished, I heard car doors slam shut outside. My girls were here. I didn’t bother with mascara — I knew there would be some sort of tears at some point in the evening; tears of emotion or joy or laughter or overwhelmed gratitude. I threw on the dress I’d worn for maternity pictures, earlier in the week, figuring I might as well get some more use out of it than just that one single occasion, and then I headed out the front door to the front porch.

Already, my ladies had hung a bright tie-dyed sheet of Lauren’s, blocking most of the party space from view. They would allow me behind it, but they wouldn’t let me help with anything, so I decided to park it in a chair outside the curtain and let myself be surprised when they’d finished setting up completely.

I didn’t feel great, I’ll admit it. I’d had an emotional day, more stress than I’d expected, and my hormones ready and rarring to escalate every emotion to its highest level, even when it wasn’t called for. Physically, I had pushed myself a bit farther than I should have. My back was killing me, my carpal tunnel was causing both my hands to ache, and my poor pregnant feet were certainly reacting to doing chores all day and the summer heat. Worst — my Braxton Hicks contractions were really amped up that evening — I was trying to catch up on my hydration, and sit still to let my body rest — but they were intense, and frequent. Not regular, or painful — never quite enough to make me actually worry about actual labor — but close enough that one or two times throughout the evening, I had an inward moment of, if this keeps up, we might turn this Blessingway into a Birthingway. (Luckily, that didn’t end up happening, and at the end of the night, with plenty of water and my feet propped up, everything returned to normal.)

So I sat, and listened as my friends called to each other, working together to transform the porch into a little wonderland for a few hours. Lauren turned on some music and it spilled out into the evening air.

Suddenly, I felt a sense of peace wash over me. Whatever I had been upset about all day, whatever I apprehension I had for the evening’s festivities — it all faded away. The sun was not yet quite beginning to set, but the hour drew nearer. Beyond the porch and the trees of the neighborhood, the sky flared from blue to rose and amber, and the last of the afternoon sunlight cut angles across the porch, shining through that tie-dye sheet. Suddenly, everything felt exactly as it should. I was happy to be there, happy to have my girls there to celebrate with me. Happy to have my husband inside enjoying some dude time, happiest of all to have my daughter kicking and wiggling in my belly as I waited.

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The Little Things

When I’m worried, and I can’t sleep, I count my blessings instead of sheep, and I fall asleep, counting my blessings.

I’m quick to list off everything that annoys me or inconveniences me. That list is a mile long, half the time, and it’s always ready on the tip of my tongue.

But then, I had a really lovely, relaxing Sunday yesterday, full of those little pleasures that seems so small yet add so much goodness into my life. That reminded me of how very many of those little joys I have all week long, from people I look forward to seeing to activities we do together, to little sensual pleasures, self-care luxuries that are quick to get lost in the shuffle of our day-to-day demands.

Here are a few of mine, won’t you share some of yours?

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How To: Dance Movie

It’s like a Create Your Own Adventure story! Just pick your fave option, combine, and voila! You’ll have the plot to your very own Dance Movie.

Meet the Girl. The girl is Different than other girls, because she [just had a terrible break-up and no one had broken up with anyone before ever/ just had a family member pass away/ is artistic and HAS BIG DREAMS, OK?]

The Girl also likes to dance, and she is the only [ballerina in a world of street dancers/ the only street dancer in a world full of classically trained dancers.]

(This is also why she’s Different.)

The Girl meets the Boy in preparation for the [Big Show/ Big Audition/ Chance to Prove Themselves], and there is Tension. Most likely because [they just broke up/ both want to be the Star/ are from different sides of the street.]

The Girl is not initially accepted because she’s [Different/ inexperienced/ white/ black/ too trained/ not trained enough/ a fantastically bad actress] — but, hey, Mr. [Choreographer/Director/Judge]! She’s got heart! After an impromptu dance exhibition in a public place where no one seems to care if she destroys some or all of the nearby props, and no one eating at that table seems to mind the Girl stomping on their table top — the Girl is accepted into the dance [troupe/school/crew].

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The Best Memory

I just remembered the best memory.

Coincidentally, this is also the story of how I had to seek emergency professional medical care for my asthma for the first time.

Oddly enough, it can be both.

It started like any other Tuesday evening for me, at the time, 18, in college, away from home – 45 minutes away – for the first time. Young, impressionable. Scarily optimistic and trusting. I took a full class load, I took Honors Civ and Honors Humanities, I auditioned for dance company, I was a bright-eyed, bushy-tailed little thing.

My bestest best friend Lauren and I still taught dance back in our home town, 45 minutes away. We ran the dance program at our community park and recreation center with our other best friend Becky, which, eventually, two years and two recitals later, turned out to be a bit much for both of us to handle, on top of our class work, on top of dance company rehearsals, attempting a modicum of a social life. But our first semester, freshman year, it was completely the norm for me to scamper home from my afternoon class, grab our stuff, hike down the hill to the freshman lot, get Lauren’s car, drive it over to the building where her afternoon class was finishing up – pick her up, stuff sandwiches or fruit – lunch — in our face as we drove top speed, play our class music and review or notes – teach from 4:30 until 9:30, some eight to ten classes in five hours between the three of us…and then drive 45 minutes home. Stagger up the hill from the freshman lot to our form. Collapse in our dorm rooms, unwind for a moment – and then start our homework. It was exhausting – but we had amazing students, and it was the first time we’d gotten to run a dance program on our own.

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Life Blog: Sunday.

I love days where you get to do all the things you want to do.

Each and every day is eaten up by so much have to. Have to get out of bed. Have to go to work. Have to pay attention at work all day, have to be polite and friendly and efficient. Have to repress the urge to actually maim all the people you swear under your breath you’ll maim as you check out at Wal-mart/get stuck in traffic/try and fix a paper jam on the office printer.

And even beyond the obligations, there’s so much compromise. Where to meet friends for supper, and how long to stay out. What to watch on the TV as you lounge on the couch with your husband/girlfriend/roommate/mother.

The best days are the days where you get to do absolutely whatever it is you want to do. The lovely little things, sometimes just the quiet things — things we can’t always make time for, in the hustle and the bustle of the day to day, the obligations, the have to. The things that actually make us saner and nicer and more patient and rested, but aren’t technically seen as necessary, so they’re the first things to be dropped, when life starts to get hectic.

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