July 8, 2018 § Leave a comment
I took a hiatus from performing for a couple of years. My life was extremely busy and troupe life and it’s responsibilities were becoming more of a distress than a eustress. It was a very hard decision for me to leave the Desert Darlings. I put it off until my work/school/internship schedule made it impossible for me to attend rehearsals any longer. Then, I finally told them I needed some time off. It was tough, but it was the right decision.
My crazy schedule accounted for a year off from performance and formal dance classes. Then, after graduating with my bachelor’s degree, I took several more months off. I had been so busy for so long, I needed some time for myself and had no interest in adding responsibilities that were not absolutely crucial.
Then, little by little, I started missing dance classes. About a year and a half after taking my hiatus, I went to a formal dance class. I went to an advanced cabaret class, which may not have been the best choice, but it certainly threw me back into it. The warm-up included a rotating solo improv section in a circle. Talk about being put on the spot! Anyway, dancing felt awkward at first since it had been awhile since I had done any formal dance practice.
I was very self-conscious. I was taking classes at the home studio of the Desert Darlings, my former troupe, and I was convinced everyone knew it and expected me to be better. As I walked into the studio, I could hear the imaginary whispering. “Pssst…she was in the Darlings!” “Did you know she used to be a Darling?” “She was in the Desert Darlings?!” After a few classes, I started to focus less on how my dance skills appeared and just focused on class content. Within a few weeks, everything felt pretty natural again.
It didn’t take very long for me to feel like my old dance self again. And you know what? I quickly realized that most people in the classes didn’t know I used to be in the professional troupe. They had no expectations of me. Nor did the ones who did know. I was just projecting my own expectations of myself. Once I got over that, I started having a lot of fun again. There were some things I still felt I should be better at, but then I realized those were things I was never that great at. It’s important to maintain perspective.
I am very happy to be back in the world of dance! I’ve known a lot of dancers who have taken time off. Sometimes other things in life have to take precedence. We all seem to find time for it again eventually. What that looks like changes as our lives change, but we always seem to make our way back. And the dance community always seems to be ready to welcome us. Once a dancer, always a dancer.