crying in the closet

I hid in the closet and cried. I was in 9th grade.

I was asked to be the first person in a group building exercise to go into the middle of the circle, and dance.

Instead, I stood in the middle of the circle, and froze.

I felt the fool.

Our intrepid leader said: “But aren’t you a dancer? Come on now, just dance. Show us what you got.”

And so I fled.

I found the darkest, most furthest away corner I could, curled myself up as small as I was able, and cried.

Oh, to be 14 again.

And a leotard - tights wearing 14 at that.

And now, in my soft pants and old t-shirt, I still feel the fool on many a day.

I am still filled with doubt. I still freeze. I still get heart palpitations.

The difference is, I don’t run away to hide in the closet anymore.

I just keep going, because I understand now that this is part of the dancing life.

The unknown and the outrageous.

The fear and the failure.

The unchartered and obscure waters that make this life so appetizing.

This dancing life is made up of millions of moments of fear and fooldum, right alongside trillions of moments of bliss.

This dancing life is made up of 3am sit straight up in bed moments too, because that is when the muse calls.


Just this morning I got a call from her telling me to put on some Spanx and talk about global warming on an old fashioned phone while making pancakes.

This dancing life is lovingly spent teaching and rehearsing and performing and fundraising and grantwriting, following what is there to follow, whatever that is, and however scary it may be.

This dancing life is earnestly spent listening and and sensing and perceiving and watching and discerning and noting.

This dancing life is rapturously spent dancing.

Your dance mission for the week is to lie down on the floor, and wait to see what happens.

Do you fall asleep? Do you begin to roll slowly? Do you feel antsy? Do you want to get up and start tripping that fantastic light? Do you begin to cry? Do you fantasize about a hamburger and fries? Or do you just wait, and see what emerges?

All of the above are good,


All of the above are part of this dancing life we call home.

Here are some songs to hold you, so you don’t spin out like I do into outer space, worried that you might not come back.

1. We Move Lightly By Dustin O’Halloran 2. Concert Ph By Iannis Xenakis 3. Tinge by Michael Gordon 4. Var by Sigur Rós

(Do you know how I can link to these songs directly? If so, can you email me??? Otherwise, you have to look up the songs and download them from itunes or spotify or something like that).


If you feel so moved, post a comment on the here, and then share this blog all over the social media universe.


With Warmth and Jivey Vibes, Joanna of Joanna and The Agitators sweetly agitating/persistently upending

PS: Summer dance classes start on June 13th. Registration is from June 1st-June 12th. Click here for more info. xoxo joanna