Of not being afraid of the inevitable fuck up and dislocated toes

I got to spend 2 hours in dance last night with my favorite teacher last night. The first hour was ballet and the second hour was lyrical (if ballet and modern had a baby, it would be lyrical). The second half of ballet class is across the floor work, jumps, turns, leaps, etc. You’ll be taught the combination, then go across the floor on both sides (dancers are all about being even). No one ever wants to go first thinking that everyone waiting to go will be watching them. It’s exactly the opposite. Everyone behind you is focused on the combination. We were just taught the combination 3 minutes ago. No one is going to be perfect. I’m going to screw up and possibly look like a giraffe on roller skates, but I don’t care. The only way to get better is practice. I know I suck at turns. I can’t spot to save my life. I’ve got petite and grand allegro down (thank you long legs). I can hop and leap all day. I jumped first in line for the turns. Why not? I already know I’m not going to be perfect, so I might as well get it out of the way.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s go for it. If I’m going to fuck up, it’s going to be with gusto. One of the many lessons I learned from my dad is embrace it. He loves to dance, but he’s not afraid to admit he looks like he’s been shot in the leg. He doesn’t let that slow him down. At my cousin’s wedding, he was out on the dance floor the entire time with a feather boa dancing like there was no tomorrow. He was dancing with my 9 year old cousin and spinning the older ones around. One of my cousins looked at me, horribly confused, and asked how much he’d had to drink. I laughed and said clearly he didn’t know my dad very well. My dad’s three younger sisters aren’t exactly known for cutting loose and embracing their crazy. I probably looked like a flailing mass of limbs going across the floor, but I’m okay with that. I enjoyed it.

Lyrical, like modern, is typically done without shoes. I had a hardcore modern teacher in high school who would never let us wear shoes in class. As an adult, the rules are a little more fast and loose. I have to be careful dancing without shoes, especially turning, because I’ve dislocated the pinky toe on my left foot more times than I can count. It’ll stick to the floor and the rest of me will keep moving. I was doing really well until the last time running the combination. I turned. The toe didn’t. On the up side, I’ve done it so many times and have so much scar tissue in there, it doesn’t take much to pop it back into place with minimal pain. Having a desk job allows me to stay off it for hours at a time. Next time we’ll wear shoes.