Tag: dancing

Little Meltdown

I felt a bit broken the other night. I was watching Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (like I do). They did a musical number that was a Soul Train. takeoff. You know the bit where the dancers make two lines and people. take turns showing off their best moves for the camera. Heather, the character played by the gorgeous Vella Lovell, took her turn. As I watched her, I started feeling sad that I can’t dance like that. I started feeling sorry for myself because MS has taken away my ability to do what I want to do with my body.

The truth is that although I have a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in dance, I was never a great dancer. So me thinking that I could dance like before MS Vella is ridiculous.

I was in bed with my husband when I had my crying meltdown. He reminded me that I can still dance. I can. I don’t use a wheelchair or a walking aid. He also brought up the fact that I’ve been a bit burned out on dancing for several years. He also suggested that any dancing that I want to do would be easier if I lost some weight. I do need to lose about 30 pounds, but let’s not get into that right now.

The day after the meltdown I felt some measure of shame. If it’s true that I chose to have this illness (when I was between lives), as a means of fostering spiritual growth, I have no business whining about it.

Also, there are so many people who have it worse than I do. I should be grateful for the strength that I do have. I’m not broken. I am perfect.

Laura McCain Reed
Non meltdown moment
Vella Lovell
Here’a Vella
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Space and Time

Sometimes I write about how Multiple Sclerosis is treating me. I can’t say that I struggle with the condition, because for me, it is not that bad. I belong to an MS support group on Facebook and see so many people posting about the difficulties they go through because of the disease. I’m grateful that things are pretty good for me.

My worst symptom

The disconnect between my brain and my body makes walking somewhat difficult. For me, walking is not natural anymore. I think too much about the mechanics of walking just about every time I get up and take a few steps. I worry that people see me coming and think, “she sure has a weird walk.” It’s funny how your ego tricks you into believing everyone is watching and judging you.

My next worst symptom

The fatigue that comes with MS makes if challenging to be as physically fit as I would like to be. I can walk on the treadmill for 30 minutes at about 2.5 mph, but when I dismount I need another 30 to 45 minutes of recovery time before I feel comfortable walking from the gym to the car. I don’t use an assistive device for walking, but I would be better off using one after a treadmill workout.

Dancing

I majored in Dance in undergrad and went on the earn a masters degree in Dance. I danced with a local modern company and with a belly dance troupe. I am still able to dance, but the muscle spasticity caused by MS is a problem. I can’t always rely on my body to do what I want it to do, for the amount of time I want to do it. I can perform a solo with little difficulty, but when I’m done, I have to shuffle off the stage, because the effort has caused the muscles of my lower legs to revolt. Dancing isn’t what it used to be.

Small collage with photo of dancer and mixed media leaf

Not complaining

It could be worse and I want to say that I’m not complaining. I think I am complaining. There are days when I wish I could be the person I used to be.

A life plan

My recent fascination with the stories of people who have had a near-death experiences led me to a book by Michael Newton, PH. D. called Journey of Souls. The work documents case studies of people Newton interviewd during hypnosis in which they recount a time when they say they existed in the spirit world after death. These subjects talk of having sessions with members of a soul group who counsel each other about what they will do in their next incarnation.

If what is said in the book is true, I have to believe. that after my last life, I chose to inhabit a body that would develop MS because I needed to learn something from the experience.

When I was a child, I remember telling my mother that when I was up Heaven I chose her and my father to be my parents. I believe more and more that this was indeed the case.

Sometimes I think that I’m supposed be be a writer, and MS is here to divert me away from dancing and toward writing. I have always had. trouble settling down to one area of interest. I’m a jack of many trades and master of none. I may not be a master of anything until my next life.

I’m event thinking about starting another blog devoted to spiritual stuff. Another example of my lack of focus.

Day Three

The assignment for day three of the Zero to Hero challenge is to write about the first post you were thinking of when you started blogging. I have no idea what this could have been. I’m not sure if I had a post in mind. I just knew I wanted to start a blog. What I’m going to do for this post is make a list of random, silly, stream of consciousness things. Then I’ll put some of the things from the list into a art journal type of graphic.

1. Stop when you are ahead

2. I’ve got feet in my pants

3. This is really silly, but I don’t care.

4. Four is a number.

5. The exercise bike stands there and mocks me.

6. Hoola hooping stops being fun when you’re pressured to learn a bunch of tricks.

7. I need to learn how to relax my jaw, neck, and shoulders.

8. I believe that my cat will come back to life in the for m of a new cat who looks just like the old cat.

9, I might be crazy.

10. I’m obsessed with watching the X Files.

11. Who am I to question God?

12. Music is our only hope.

13. Dancing is a myth.

14. Dancing is a myth.

15. Dancing is a myth.

Image

Expression through movement

I did a solo performance the other day and, my heart just wasn’t in it.  Granted, I was coming down with the flu at the time. Still, I’ve been struggling to understand what dance means to me these days.

When I dance with my troupe, I feel myself having fun. That makes me happy. That tells me  that I should be dancing, but lately, soloing isn’t giving me the same feeling that it used to. I figure I can either stop performing solos, or find a way to make them feel right again.

I gave my relationship to dance some thought and created this art journal page.

Expression

What’s my art?

I would love to lead the life of an artist. If I could do art for a living, I would get up in the mornings and do yoga for an hour or so. Then I’d go to my studio and work on my amazing mixed media collagy type works. Collagy is apparently not a word,
but it would be my word. Maybe my website would be called Collagy. I would sell my art from this website.

My mixed media art would have meaning. Every piece would emanate from my soul. People would be moved by my work. I would make a small difference in a lot of lives.

I would work hard at the business of being an artist. I’d try my best to get my name “out there.” I’d be at all of the big arts fairs, I’d be on social media. I don’t really know what an artist needs to do to be able to make a living, but I’d find out and do it.

That’s the fantasy.

In real life, I got two degrees in dance and never did anything with them. Sometimes I wonder what dance really means to me. I wonder what dance is really.

I’m working on some choreography for my belly dance troupe. I want it to be interesting, entertaining, and innovative. I’m a little bit stuck though.

What would that mixed-media collagy lady do? She seems pretty successful. Maybe I should talk to her.

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I just don’t know about this dancing business

I have this on-again, off-again relationship with dance. Sometimes I love dancing. Sometimes I find dancing to be fun. Sometimes I think it’s the most ridiculous thing in the world to do. The act of standing in front of people and moving my body in certain ways just seems ridiculous. Did I mention that I have an undergraduate and graduate degree in dance? Ridiculous!

I do more belly dancing than modern dancing these days. My troupe, Different Drummer Belly Dancers does tribal fusion belly dance. I’ve found that dancing with the troupe actually feels fun to me.

I do dance as a solo act. I’ve been struggling with finding my own style. I want to be able to fuse modern dance with belly dance in way that is original and expressive, but I haven’t figured it out yet. I think I would have an easier time if my belly dancing skills were better. When it comes down to it, I’m more of a performance artist than a dancer.

Our big gig at the Fourth Street Arts Festival is coming up and I can’t decide if I want to solo or not. At the moment I don’t think that I have anything to express. I’m concerned that every solo I do is just a rehash of the same old moves. I don’t’ know that I have anything to give to an audience. I can’t even decide on a song. Should I improvise on the spot, or choreograph in advance?

I’m managing to make this stressful and not fun. I would love to create a performance art piece, but I don’t think I have time to come up with something clever enough to hold it’s own at this event.

This is what comes of being a dabbler. I do a lot of things relatively well, but I don’t a speciality.

I just don’t know.

My plan to get out of this dancing funk is to find a song and choreograph a solo specifically using moves that are not in my normal comfort zone. I’ll force my self to grow! That sounds like fun doesn’t it?

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