30 November 2005

dance class


photo by david olivari.

class was so good the other night that I slept in my leotard and sweats. walked in the door of my home and crashed, deliciously exhausted yet strangely energized and ready to take on whatever the world might be dishing out. with as much as I have been squawking about getting back into it, I finally felt like my foot was in the door of a place I have not been to in some time. oh, I have been going to class but really struggling to find my way back.

just getting myself there every tuesday night feels like an impossible feat, one that I am continuously attempting with what feels like several large rock-filled bags attached to my body. slow and deliberate and just a little bit agonizing. ava takes creative movement at the beam right before my class and so there's a whole special tuesday night routine that must be carefully followed lest things fall apart at the seams and wreak havoc on the entire evening. it starts with dinner (which must be served early) and is then followed by a drawn-out potty time that absolutely positively must take place. then comes a whole mess of dance clothes that have to be squeezed into while ezra runs amok. there's the hurried round-up, the packing of everyone in the car (which often feels like I am collecting marbles that are rolling in all directions). there's the trip to pick up ward at work downtown whereupon I try not to race and swerve and pass and speed. we sing along to 'they might be giants' here come the ABCs (at the top of our lungs, natch) and we do this to get excited about dance class. but also to keep ezra from falling asleep. if he sleeps early then there will be hell to pay and we might be in for an epic struggle at bed time involving relentless whining that will feel a little like chinese water torture and will make us want to whine and cry too. so I feel like I am tormenting ezra by tickling him, singing loudly or rolling down the window a tad for 'a little bit of cold air' to keep him awake but it must be done. normally, I would not have him in the car at this time of day, but it is unavoidable. why don't I just prod him with an electric stick? I feel like a horrible mother. and nine times out of ten, he falls into a deep sleep by the time we pull up to ward's work. then there's the fight to make it through traffic the short distance to moving in the spirit, where class takes place. we struggle to make it on schedule and by the time we pull up, I am on edge. I hate being late. after ava's class is over, ward takes both of the kids home while I stay to take (the oh-so-fantastic) wayne smith's 7:45 modern technique class. but by 7:45, I am depleted of about 98% of my energy. my reserves are low and I wonder how I am going to make it through class. I'm tired. I want to go home and cuddle up on the couch with ward. but I stay. I stay because I remember how important it is for me to stay, how good it feels to move, to sweat, to dance. I stay because I can't give up on that part of me. and I try not to think about the times in my life where class was an everyday occurrence, late night rehearsals were the norm and I try not to think about how much I took all that for granted.

and so I am there. I have been getting myself to class for a while now but this tuesday night felt different. oh, I was still tired but once we started moving, things started to feel electric. when you are dancing and everything is working the way it should be, it feels a little like your body is taking you for a ride. everything you have is engaged- brain, muscle, skin, bone, organs, nerves, cells, blood, breath, EVERYTHING. muscles expand and contract, the back widens, shoulders relax and drop, the chest opens up. your movements are weighted but you feel like you are floating. mad energy spirals up and out of the core of the body, out through the fingertips, the top of your head and every part of you feels like it is alive and buzzing. you are moving through space fully and effortlessly and it feels exactly like it sounds. it feels AMAZING. it's glorious, such a thrill. it's a little bit like flying and yes, a lot like a good ride at the carnival. don't get me wrong, you are working and thinking and (best of all) sweating (oh, the sweating) but it feels more like the natural, automatic rhythm of breathing. which is where I found myself the other night.

my chica danette says that dance 'shakes things loose and free' and I think there is no better way to say it than that. which is why I keep dancing. and why the fight to get there is worth it.

(check out this photographer's beautiful work on flickr. he is responsible for the stunning photo above and best captures what movement really feels like, I think. I am especially taken with this set. oh yes, and thank you wayne.)

17 comments:

  1. Oh Andrea, I wish I had been there to witness you in that glorious moment. I'm glad you're finding your way back.

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  2. AAHH - GREAT POST!

    Firstly, I so identify with the just GETTING THERE with the precise timing of children's moods, and the rushing and the coordinating -- and the ON EDGE.

    But it is so worth it to just get there, no matter the mountain, because that's your sanctuary, right there. Sometimes mothers & wives feel compelled to put aside their passions to only attend to others and I feel we do the entire family a disservice if we do, though that seems easier sometimes. Our men married passionate women, why squash it now. Our children need examples of passion outside of them. They want to hear about what we love, and how do they follow their own dreams if they only see sacrifice.

    Really nice, Andrea.

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  3. just gotta say, you are such a great desciptive writer, giving the reader such a treat to be reading what you send out. Great!

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  5. Beautiful post, Andrea. I couldn't be more happy for you getting back out there. It's infectious, isn't it? And your words make me want to move. Reading about what it takes to corral all the kids together just to get into the car and pick up me at work is humbling. You so deserve a break, kid. Let's hope your upcoming birthday gives you some sort of well-deserved rest.

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  6. Reading your post was like a breath of fresh air. So descriptive and you had me hanging on every word!!

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  7. oh man, that is good stuff. great writting, and i am with aj i was hanging on every word of your description. felt like i was riding in the backseat of your car on the way there. you make me want to move, if that is what it feels like it must be SO worth it.

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  8. Ohh this post gave me chills! I could so relate--to the process of getting to something just for you, that you love, that is meaningful to just you. It's so hard, isn't it? But the way you write about it makes me FEEL how good it is for you. Horay for feeling electric, and in tune, and open.

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  9. ah, you make me want to dance again too! when everything seems to be keeping you from going, and then you get there and everything is right, it is something glorious. so fulfilling and so energizing for the soul.

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  10. oh hula you've done it again! you write how i feel to the nth!! ("...collecting marbles") is such a perfect analogy. and trying to get ezra not to sleep....how many times have i done the same thing!

    but so great for you this whole dance thing! great that you push yourself and as you've expressed, you are now feeling the rewards!!! so inspirational to hear!

    GREAT post!

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  11. i'll let you in on a secret...i've always wanted to be a dancer...but i've never even tried and i often think that now i'm too old...and too overweight...and too self-conscious...and certainly not flexible enough...and too broke...and too busy...oh i have a million and one excuses...

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  12. You make me wanna dance. And be a better writer.

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  13. andrea.... i was tensing up as i read your in transit story.... you are NOT a bad mother... no way no how!

    and gosh do i know what it means to be that tired and to want to do something and not be sure if you can because it seems like every last drop of energy is gone....

    but then.... that electricity. oh man does it change things, huh? like parts of your brain are re-awakened... and you just know. that this is so worth it no matter what.

    so eloquently put. i wish i could dance!!

    p/s did you see the bill jones piece in the sunday times magazine a few back? i thought of you!!

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  14. Anyone with children can understand how glorious those times are when you find yourself in a YOU moment.

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  15. you reach into so part of yourself that is all of us. The part that dreams vs. the part that is the negative voice. The voice that says you are tired and need to go home.
    It helps that you are pushing through for yourself, and actually for your children as well. It is so important for them to see you doing what you love.
    This was beautifully written. thank you

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  16. Dancing is breathing to me. Deep, deep, beautiful breaths. Glad you can make it to class.

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