Oh the fear… the fear to put yourself out there as an artist and possibly be rejected…
To share my “deeper” self in a group setting is especially scary. I’m more comfortable one-on-one. There’s the fear to perform in a small group in front of dancers who are much better . If the choreo is emotional, there’s the fear of feeling too much and how to handle all the emotions (especially without technique to lean on) But, you know the only way to improve is to leave the safe zone and free fall…
I took a master workshop with Ziga Mlakar at Flying Steps Dance Academy in Berlin, Germany. It was a milestone for me both in personal development and dance. (Can one really separate the two?)
When Ziga asked for two volunteers to dance the choreo at the end of the workshop, the room went silent. I wanted to dance so much; my arm sort of inched up by itself and I heard my voice saying “I do…” This may not sound earth-shattering, but for me it was. I have never performed dance solo or duo.
But while my rational mind of excuses was sleeping, some hidden impulse raised my hand. There I was in the middle of the room in front of a surprised Ziga and class.
“Wtf did I just do”? I thought. “Can I turn back and just sit down again?” But supportive class mates applauded and dance friend Nicole Adriana joined me (thank you!)
Fear is proportionate to the value we attach to something . The more we love something, the more fear we build to protect it. But I realized on this day that it works both ways. If you love enough, you choose that same love to overcome the fear. I loved the choreo so much it thrust me beyond my paralyzation.
I am VERY proud to present this dance moment in my journey with Nicole at 2:00 mins and in a group at 4:00 min. I am grateful Academy Manager Ioannis Hatsis captured it for me! I suspect he hopes this will inspire many more to just go for it no matter what! I know I do!
I have been wanting to become more brave for a while now. A few weeks ago ever-observant teacher Ioannis Hatsis shouted “reveal yourself!” to me in class… and I thought “Shit…really? Do I have to? Can’t we just do those fun choreos where I can get by on my social, sunny personality?”
You can see by the advanced levels of the dancers and the intended complexities of Ziga’s choreography that I have a ways to go.
So.. am I cured ? NO! I still feel vulnerable exposed with my inadequacies and limits. But I love to dance more than I fear my limitations. Hopefully, that is what you see in my performance!
Maybe you’d never guess all this was going through me. But that’s exactly why I wrote this. It probably goes on for others too. I fear being vulnerable with people I don’t know well. But maybe the courage to be vulnerable for strangers is the most important part of being a good artist.
Takeaway: Acknowledge the fear but acknowledge the love more. Raise your hand even when you’re out of your league. Push through even when you feel broken. Grow…