Sunday, October 19, 2008

The Dance of Regret

Nearly every part of my body has a dull ache threading its way through the sinews and bones. I did a very stupid thing today. I participated in a modern dance class after 3 months of my ten toes not touching a dance floor. Or any other part of my body for that matter. Ugh. I had forgotten that all those muscles in my back existed. Particularly the ones that, ya know, keep me upright. Those I had definitely forgotten about.

I can't even tell you the teacher's full name. Her first was Tina, her last was two names joined together by a hyphen. And let me tell you... she was a pistol. I loved it. She had that crazy style of teaching, where you couldn't help but chuckle quietly to yourself. Her style of choreography.... um... yeah. I loved that even more. She has that reckless quality to her movement, which, in following it, you find yourself flailing about in a controlled chaos. Oooooh yeah... It was marvelous. Up and down, up and down. In the air, on the floor, back up again. Extend, contract. I mean, seriously, does it get any better?!

Oddly enough, the highlight and yet most depressing part of the class occurred jointly. After doing a combination across the floor (to a Marilyn Manson song! Heck yes!), she pointed to me and asked my name. She then went off on a rant about how I had made the choreography my own, took the skeleton of it and molded it to fit my own style. This, she pointed out, is what gets you the audition. This gets you the job, makes you stand out in a crowd. She had me repeat the combination several times (how embarrassing), along with a few other members of the class.

Now, I'd like to make note of the fact that I am 26. My career dancing days are over. But hearing this encouragement, a little too late in life, lifted my spirits and yet crushed my heart a bit from lost opportunity. How I wish I had taken advantage of the times when my body was younger and more fit. When I could make it through an hour and a half class without every major muscle group screaming in agony. Before the injuries that now prevent me from being able to fully release into the aggressive movements. When the comments were made, I shot my younger sister a sad look, because she knows the dancer's heart. She knows the excitement and freedom and joy that the floor can bring.

I can't lie, I had to fight back a few tears when Tina was talking to me. I was flooded with a sadness of disappointment that hit the deepest part of my soul. It only lasted for a few seconds, and then the moment passed and I pushed that regret back into the place where it belongs. Out of the forefront of my mind.

I learned a great life lesson from my lack of courage to pursue what my passion was as a dancer. Fears left go will only crush you more, leave you in limbo a little while longer until, before you realize it, it is too late. As my last blog so poignantly stated, I am victim to the Fear of Success. Mix that in with some Fear of Failure, and it results in afterward thoughts of what could have been. I now always encourage the younger generation to go after their dreams, no matter how scary they may be, as a result of my own cowardice.

Now, I'm going to go soak my ankle, maybe get a hot pack for my back and then pray to Jesus that I can move enough to get out of bed tomorrow.

Regret... its a terrible thing to have.


Faith said...

Well, at least you don't look like a headless chicken when you dance... like I do... That is definitely the problem with athletic-type giftings- they only come in handy for such a short time.