15 April 2005

muscle memory

(photo of alexandra beller; photographer unknown. want to see more? go here.)

as I made my way from the subway to the streets above and headed down west broadway towards chinatown, I got a little taste of what my life might have been like had ward and I decided to make the move to new york back in 1999. it was october of 2003 and I was on my way to take alexandra beller's modern class at dancespace. upon arrival, I climbed the rickety stairs to the studio. I tried to ignore the fact that I was nervous but there was just no mistaking my shaky hands and the wonky feeling in the pit of my stomach. I had taken alexandra's class once before, but I think it's always an intimidating experience to take class in a city that is overflowing with amazing dancers. you never really know when you might be getting yourself in over your head. also, alexandra beller is a personal hero of mine (another story) and so I was doubly nervous. I had the sudden urge to flee, to run back down the stairwell and out into the noisy street. it would be so much easier to spend the afternoon wandering around the lower east side, shopping myself into a blissful little oblivion. but I am proud to say that I stayed and that it was well worth the torturous anticipation I'd put myself through. I was high for days afterwards (the class really was that good). and who could've known that it would be my last chance (for a very long time) to take a class like that? who knew that I was newly pregnant with my second child? I sure didn't.

now, ten months after the birth of ezra, I am starting to dance again. that's not to say that I just stopped moving entirely the moment I discovered we were going to have baby number two, but things slowed way down. I performed once more that fall and continued to teach for moving in the spirit all the way through my seventh month (oh, the poor POOR leotards that I squeezed myself into that last trimester- they never had a fighting chance). dance has been on the back burner, so to speak, simmering on low. until now, that is. and it is like being at the bottom of an impossibly steep hill that you know you have to struggle and sweat and push yourself to climb, because there is no other way to get to the top of it. there is no choice for me but to begin.

anyone who knows me well knows that dance is as much a part of who I am as the color of my eyes, my hair, the type of blood that runs through my body. I believe that movement is an amazing and powerful thing. I guess that's why I have studied it for so many years, cannot seem to get enough of it in my life. I love the way my body feels moving through space, working in class- the floating spinning sweating flying. I love how the weight of my frame gives me power, how my muscles and mind work together to propel my body athletically through space, love how my bare feet feel working the floor. I miss it all so horribly. so it's time for me to begin that long and undeniably difficult climb back up to the place I where I left off.


  1. Glad to see that you're at the base of the mountain and looking up - the mounting of all peaks begins with the smallest (dance) steps. Good luck and I'll follow your jouney with you.

    You're thrilled? I'm thrilled!


  2. You can do it! You have tremendous determination and God is behind you! You amaze me! I am proud of you.....gym

  3. What a writer! You have talent! Enjoyed reading about your "romance with dance". You have had that relationship with dance for as long as I can remember...Oh, what sweet memories I have of that! Enough to fill a scrapbook of great memories...Salem dance class...summer recitals in Centralia....SCPA auditions and dance performances..... Moving in the Spirit shows!....trying to teach the dancers the "flex offense" into the dance world! You are one of a kind and I am a blessed man...gym

  4. thanks, dad. wouldn't be anywhere close to where I am today without the encouragement I received from you and mom...

    by the way, your display name (gym!) rocks...

  5. When I see you move, my heart moves with you. You are amazing to watch.

  6. That's great news Andrea. Over the years, what you have shared with me about dance has helped me know myself better. I am happy you are giving yourself the time to dance. I love the kind of woman you are - a wonderful mother who is still growing in every aspect of your life.

  7. Wow! What a moving and inspiring post. I am certain you have the vision and the drive to make it to the top of that peak. It all starts with that decision. Congratulations on tapping into your inspiration. I can't wait to hear more!

  8. wow. i wish i could dance.
    my joy is body sculpting.
    which i have not yet returned to.
    but MAY is the month. Training begins.
    Dance. Dance is amazing. I love it.
    But not so good at it :)

    and yes you are a great writer too.

  9. Bring it on, diva-sistah-dancer friend. I'll be right there with you. Can't wait to share the dance floor with you.