Friday, September 25, 2009

No Pressure

I love my Wednesday night tap class.  The teacher is a hardass (kind of) but he really wants us to get our money's worth and be good dancers.  I dig that.  I want to be a good dancer.  I'm very inspired by Gene Kelly so I want to tap well.  My teacher corrected my technique Wednesday night on a new step because it is all about technique, and I was happy to get personal instruction so I can make improvements.

In most dance classes, there are "across the floor" exercises.  This is where there was trouble in ballet class all those months ago.  Students line up and drill a move while traveling across the floor with new groups of students coming in after an eight count or a sixteen count to allow room for everyone to move without having a collision.  If it was strippy class, I would have no problem being in the front of the line since I know my stripping very well and wouldn't worry about others picking up bad habits from watching me.  However, I am willing to take any spot in the line going across the floor.  This Wednesday the instructor picked me to lead one of the lines.  I know my eight counts like the back of my hand so I know when to come in.  I also pay attention in class and stop tapping when he speaks.  He said, "You've had tap before, right?"  I reluctantly said, "Some."  The girl who was already in the front of the line wanted to be there and I know people get sensitive about being moved out of spaces.  I crept to the front of the line as the gal who was there defended her position.  I wonder if she thought he was suggesting that she wasn't a good dancer by moving her back in the line.  Who knows.  Anyway, I was all ready to lead the line and then we got into the defense stuff.  So enter me, feeling bad because I was asked by the teacher to lead because I was displacing someone who was very passionate about being in that spot in the line.  I was uncomfortable.

Then another student defended my position as the line leader.  She proclaimed. "She's really good!"  It was very kind of her, but I don't feel that I'm really good at tap yet.  I've had maybe nine months of tap, most of it over ten years ago.  I'm really good at burlesque because I had many of the component skills down years ago.  Now I wasn't just displacing someone, I was also labeled as really good so it became more than just being the first one to dance across the floor in that line.  Now it felt like I had to prove something and defend my position as well as live up to the expectations of the proclaimer and now the rest of the class.  Ugh!  I was just there to dance!

Even though I felt miserable for a little while because so much was pasted onto this little "lead the line" thing, I did an okay job with the task and was able to get back into just drilling the moves.  I don't know how upset the other student actually was, but the resistance I observed when I tried to assume my assigned position made me feel like I'd somehow done something wrong.  Fortunately everyone was fine at the end of class.  Ugh.

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