“I’ll be back in a minute,” Terri says and quickly escapes to her office. Once inside she instantly breaks down in big silent sobs and with a floodgate of pent-up shame.
Just 30 seconds earlier, in the lobby of her own dance studio, the Mom of a competition dancer outright told Terri she should probably decline the opportunity to represent the studio in an upcoming TV spot because “you know, TV adds weight and we really want to make a good impression.”
Shame honestly has no pity. It is a stubborn, unkind, relentless, entangled web of emotion that oozes with anger, embarrassment, and self-loathing. It gags us when we don’t address it.
Hidden in her office, Terri wept to herself, How did this happen? When did I let this happen?
The full-length mirror in her office had long been obscured by bright costumes, a pair of leg warmers, her winter jacket, and some weird green prop that really needed to be taken back to the storage room.
The front door slammed, and ten years of my life came to an abrupt end. My apartment was suddenly very, very quiet.
For the longest time I stared at the wall and tried to wrap my head around what just happened and what it really meant for my life. Honestly I wasn’t sure if I felt relieved or petrified. All I knew was that my ten-year relationship with Sam had most dramatically and most definitely come to a bitter end.
Eventually my eyes shifted as I noticed the tic-toc-tic-toc of the kitchen clock and the surprisingly loud sound of the ice-maker dropping virgin ice inside the refrigerator. I never noticed how loud that ice was before. I jumped when my phone vibrated with an incoming call from my sister, who, in uncanny synchronicity, could always feel when I needed her.
We talked for hours that night.
I cried, cursed like a sailor, and told her things I had once promised never to tell.
Somehow my chocolate chip ice cream and I made it through my first adult night as a...
Walking out of dance class, drenched in sweat and clutching your water bottle, you smell the aroma from a nearby restaurant and begin your mad dash to get home, shower, and re-emerge as a goddess, ready for your dinner date.
Tonight you are feeling especially exuberant.
In the shower, the sound of your singing voice reminds you of class and how good you feel to finally be dancing again. Why did you wait so long to reunite with your first true love?
Now, as a busy, over-worked adult caring for your family, career, and household, you realize that your recent reintroduction to the dancer inside of you makes you feel excited and happy again, powerful, and grateful that you didn’t let a single additional day go by without dancing again.
Yesterday you even snuck out on your lunch break and bought a new dress.
You couldn’t help it!
Because that morning, for the first time in… years honestly… James had said, “maybe we should get a babysitter and go out to eat...
This is what a wise man once told me:
"If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail."
The wise man who told me this was actually my husband. He obviously didn't make up the phrase, but he said it at exactly the right moment; and through my life I have seen how true this is, time and time again. For example:
A chiropractor who has a quick alignment solution for anything that ails you
A vegan who knows how to solve everybody's digestive disorders
A carpenter who is asked to stop a leak
A shoulder surgeon who gives you shoulder surgery for what turned out to be a herniated C5 disc (yup, that happened)
A cook who feeds you any time you are upset.
If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.
Funny that we say this as if it is a bad thing... but perhaps it is simply a solid life strategy.
What is yours?
Here's what mine looks like:
I am worried about the economy: I dance.
I am hurt by my husband/children/friend: I dance.
I am afraid of...
Not going to lie - my parents and grandparents had weight problems.
My Dad was a 6'4" athlete (UNC football player), and my Mom was a 5'2" professional opera singer and voice teacher. While my athleticism and musicality were clearly inherited and are now featured by my vocation as a dancer and dance instructor, my DNA has me programmed for hard-core obesity.
Gifts and curses. That's what we inherit.
Just look at your parents and grandparents if you want to know what aging has in store for you. You might see how they have triumphed over their aging processes or how they have suffered and succumbed to it.
Sometimes it is scary to see. Sometimes it is inspirational.
My Mother has profound dementia and horrible arthritis. She is in her 80's and confined to a scooter.
My Dad, after a lifetime of often successful weight management efforts and a consistently good mind, sadly passed away in 2019 following an unsuccessful long-term recovery from aortic valve repair surgery.
I'm still curious WHY WE DANCE. Trying to get my arms around it.
Two weeks ago we talked about the sense of community we feel when we dance with an amazing group of women.
Last week I confessed my love/hate relationship with my body and how one huge benefit of dancing is that it helps me keep my weight, emotions, spirit, and anxiety under control.
This week, I'd like to share what Danielle wrote about it.
First let me tell you who Danielle is. I have actually never met her in person, but I love her. She found us when we offered free daily classes during the pandemic. She danced with us, virtually, a lot! Then she decided to purchase one of our online memberships, and she has been a TDW Virtual Retreat member ever since.
She leaves me love notes (probably why I love her). Here is a sample:
Hi! Angel Wings was my first class...felt so amazing to do it again, my body remembered it so on parts I was able to be in the dance...that feeling, is there anything better...its...
It took some gut-wrenching soul-searching, but I finally projectile vomited this deeply personal admission:
--- I have a love/hate relationship with my body ---
OMG the extremes make me dizzy! But I finally realized this...
When my body is out of control, my anxiety is through the roof!
And on the other end...
When my body is the way I like it, I am on top of the world.
How could 5, 10, or even 50 pounds affect me so? What is wrong with me? Am I a complete narcissist? Am I THAT shallow? Do I really value my physical state more than my... well, everything??? More than my character? More than my other skills and talents? More than my spiritual, emotional, and moral well-being?
Wait a minute. Maybe I am just going off the deep end here. Being dramatic. Let's back up and think this through...
Here's what I know. I hate it when I feel that extra bulge around my waist. I hate it when I can't find something to wear that makes...
Despite the pandemic, there were twelve of us in our adult dance class of The Dancer’s Workout® tonight. This included Sara, Cagny, Shannon, Tyler, Laura, Jennifer, Anne, and Meg who were there with me in-person, plus Deidre, Dani, Ashley, and Sonoe, who were logged in and dancing with us via Zoom.
We were twelve women, between the ages of 24 and 60, united in time and space and deeply connected by our love of dance.
While we have literally hundreds of adult dancers who have joined our classes on a regular basis over the past decade, the snapshot of tonight's class is a good sample of a typical class.
Sara, Anne, Ashley, and Sonoe have danced with me multiple times a week now for six to eight years.
Cagny, Shannon, Jennifer, and Dani have danced with me multiple times a week for four to five years now.
Deirdre, Laura and Tyler are newer, having only danced with me for a year or so, and Meg is brand new - tonight was her second class with...