As I walk down this path of becoming the dancer I want to be - I realized I needed to harness that emotion that I hide deep within, harness the frustration and sadness, the anguish, the past lives that I would rather see buried and bring them to the surface. It first occurred to me back in mid March in a class I was taking that I had polished these moves yet they lacked any meaning besides being really awesome and pretty. I had channeled this thing that I think is sexy, this thing that I love so much, yet this thing was empty...or atleast I now feel like it was empty, maybe it was half full? I had become very good at rolling my eyes in the back of my head, swaying to the music and getting lost in fulfilling the image of what I saw in my head. Filling up stereotypical images isn't enough - in fact, I've become so good at rolling my eyes in the back of my head and losing myself in the music that I found myself hiding beneath layers of sensuality. I started to put my sexuality on a platter so that I could hide and be safe. I'd rather be sexy than exposed.
Then came my stint with stripping. I began using my clothing as the metaphor for shedding my layers of thoughts and feelings...but really it was another way of hiding. I could expose parts of my body so I wouldn't have to expose how I felt, in case those feelings we rejected, somehow invalidated. It's easier to be rejected for being too sexy than it is to be rejected for an honest portrayal of what lies beneath. Don't get me wrong the physical act of stripping pushed me to begin to toy with the idea of exposing myself, now it's time to play with my emotional clothing and shed that. I am a big fan of stripping and grinding it out, there's nothing that feels better to me after a moment of hell than to whip the hair and tear the clothes off and roll around on the floor. In fact some of those never seen before moments ARE the real moments, the moments and things I am talking about hiding, that never get seen because of fear.
It takes a lot of courage and inner strength to tap into the real you and put her out there. It's scary. With that in mind I began experimenting privately. What if I listen, truly LISTEN to the music I want to dance to? I started using visualization, popping in my earbuds and letting myself slip into the music without dancing, really hearing the words and the rhythms, envisioning what telling that story would look like, then what would it feel like...what if I could move my body and use my talents in a way that expressed how I feel or relate to this? Then I started noticing my dancing looked different. I stopped dancing for the mirror and started to live my visions. At first, it was pretty ugly - without the mirror and my "logic" to guide me, my extensions were not what they could be, toes lacked pointing, I would pull up and sometimes find my shoulders were slumped over. My dancing FELT better but was so much more raw and unrefined.
How do I express myself and make it pretty and draw people into my world? How can I intoxicate? I knew I had to start really working on FEELING the extensions and the power of the floor and the air beneath my feet. Then it hit me - it's really hard to express yourself with a long series of advanced moves. How am I expressing my anger at repression with a handspring? I went back to my basics - which I use as a constant in my dance life for building strength and grace - then I find of fell in love again with the feeling of just spinning around the pole. I started to FEEL where the aysha goes, where that handspring goes and how to use it express my strength and perhaps anger, happiness, joy, love...but I could never figure out how to USE the bad ass tricks without first finding my inner spinner and falling back in love with the simple things that can be molded and manipulated with speed and grace to tell my story.
I'm beginning to shed my nuts and bolts and become a real dancer.