I have tried really hard not to be a dancer.
It's difficult and painful, and I can’t let it go when I get home.
It's all consuming.
It wakes me up at 3am.
Sometimes it makes me cry.
I fail all the time.
Sometimes in a big way, and everyday in a small way.
It leaves me in a state of imperfection, with flaws, cracks, and blemishes.
I never know what just happened, and yet in a certain sense, I know exactly what happened.
So much so that I am left crawling on the floor, melting into a puddle of goo.
I’m a dancer simply because I can’t imagine doing anything else.
I have tried, believe me, oh how I have tried.
But it comes down to this:
Dancing is how I make sense of the day to day atrocities, doldrums, splendors, and glories of this world.
Dancing, with all of it’s contradictions and mess, is profound and complete.
I have tried really hard not to be a dancer.
And I have failed.
I have come close to letting it all go, more than once.
I’m glad that I held on.
This was one of those time that my strange brain kept me going:
I was working for a non-profit in Northampton, MA and was doing such a good job with my data entry skills (I’m very good at faking it) that they asked me to apply to be the Director of Fiscal Operations.
I thought, “This is it. This is what I was meant to do. I’m done struggling with these low-paying jobs that barely leave me any time, money, or energy to dance on the side. I’m going to be the Director of Physical Operations.”
It felt like the perfect match for my background in dance and outdoor education, and I came up with a whole slew of physical activities that I would implement and facilitate for the staff:
Hiking, Swimming, Rock Climbing, Canoeing, Biking, Yoga, and of course, Dancing.
I went to the interview in my brand new tracksuit and sneakers (I wanted to look professional because I really wanted this job), with a set of movement exercises for the interviewing panel.
We started out lying down on the carpeted office floor, with chairs and desks pushed to the side, feeling our breath and extending through the diagonals of our bodies.
I was surprised that everyone was in pantyhose, skirts, and heels, but that was okay, I could work with it.
As I gathered everyone into a group to begin flocking, the woman who had suggested I apply for the job, stopped me and said:
“Let’s pause for a moment and make sure we are all on the same page here. We’re interviewing for the Director of Fiscal Operations.”
“Oh, I know. I have a whole curriculum in place for the physical well-being of your staff. I feel confident I can direct the Physical Operations of this organization.”
“FISCAL,” she said, “As in finance and money. We’re looking for a Fiscal Director. Not a PHYSICAL Director.”
I paused for a moment and took that in.
“OH NO. You mean you want me to be in charge of your money?”
I started to laugh uncontrollably, and then everyone on the interview panel began to laugh too.
When we all quieted down, I asked if they’d like to continue learning about flocking, since we had the time set aside anyway, and they had taken their high heels off at this point.
We ended up flocking together for the next half an hour and had an amazing time.
Then I went back to my desk and continued with my data entry in my shiny new striped track suit and sneakers.
I stayed on doing data entry at that job for another year, and got along fabulously with the Fiscal Director they eventually hired.
Tuesday and Thursday mornings I came in an hour early to teach a dance class to the staff.
You make my heart ache.
On another note, since I have finally accepted the fact that I am a dancer and this is how I am going to walk in the world - at least for awhile - I have two dance performances coming up.
Do you wanna come?
The first one takes place in the pool at The North Boulder Recreation Center.
I am making and performing it with Laura Ann.
We rehearsed yesterday in our costumes, and it changed everything, so I can’t wait to see how this dance continues to unfold.
We will be working with the music for the first time tomorrow.
The show, Goodnight, Courtney Love, takes place from Thursday, Oct 8th-Saturday, Oct 10th in the Leisure Pool at The North Boulder Recreation Center.
It's family friendly and FREE!
The second dance is a new solo that I will be showing once a month.
It’s called Dog Dance.
I am presenting it for the first time on Friday, October 23rd at 7pm at Floorspace in Boulder.
It will be $7 and I don’t know yet if it will be appropriate for kids, so I will get back to you about that one.
Your dance mission for the week is to dance while you are working, whatever that means to you.
Notice how it makes you feel.
Notice your breath.
Notice how your body is making contact with the earth.
Here is a fun song to dance to while you are at work: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tbNmQNjyNZI
I would love to hear from you, so post any comments you have here.
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As always, With Warmth and Jivey Vibes Joanna of Joanna and The Agitators sweetly agitating/persistently upending www.joannaandtheagitators.com