September 13, 2008

I Danced

All my life I have openly, obviously and persistently wanted to dance. I joined a classical dance class when I was about six and it was all good for a while. Just when I was sure I was the next whoever, Beyonce or someone, the dance teacher, this moldy ole man who moved like a girl, told me I needed extra classes to catch up with the rest. Lots of extra classes. I quit. To save my self-respect. We all need to selectively ignore feminine men sometimes. In school I took part in "The Tiger Dance", was the guy in "The Ballroom Dance" and some poor misguided friends made me part of "The Celebrity Dance" out of pity and regretted it forever. I took ballets lessons for a week too. There. Now you know my entire history in the world of graceful movements.

Well, our college competitions started last week and I had "The Whim" again. The last time I had "The Whim" was seven years back and everyone thought it was over with "The Celebrity Dance" but no, it was back. It's a different year, different place and a different set of friends. So they agreed. I practiced very, very hard. And I sucked even more. All the guys would stand around and laugh and laugh as i tried so unsuccessfully to look sexy on the chair step. According to one bystander, my face always had the expression of "someone confused, horrified, wondering why she was torturing herself".

The day of the competition arrived. Nothing much had changed of course. It never does. We wore waistcoats, super-cool harem pants, cat-eye masks and had chairs, pompoms and cowboy hats as props. Ready as we ever would me. I took my poor, frightened and extremely made-up face backstage. Our team was on towards the end so I watched the various others go in and out. It got worse and worse as everyone tried to console me. They said things like, "We're dancing just for fun, not for the prize" and "Just go and do whatever you can. It's ok". Yeah, WRONG thing to say. I felt horrible. Then, just like that, we were on. I blanked. The lights were ditzy and I couldn't see anything. The smoke billowing from the floor was drying out my throat. Before I knew it I was sitting back in the audience rubbing off the rouge from my face. "You were really good", said this mousy girl next to me. Yeah right. Ok. But someone else said it. Then someone else. Then someone else. Then a lot of other people. And I was glad. And my dream had come true, however cheesy it sounds.

More than anything else, I realized that I define my limitations, not some pansy dance teacher. This is not a fairy tale, and we didn't win, but I was good. And that's all that mattered to me. Peace.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

ok types...wld have been better if u added something bout your dance partners n dance guru :-)

The Crow said...

LOL... maybe in another very sarcastic post...

Carl said...

ahhh yes .. the harem dance... u did move like beyonce in tat one ;p

Anonymous said...

yep...forget the lousy fellow dancers...atleast abt the guru... for all the efforts.. and fallin off the stagewhile teaching... and losing her toe nails in the process... cmon....

The Crow said...

LOL... yeah, u reminded me bout that one a million times.. reward granted by a listening ear. Ear hurts. Ouch.

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