LASER EYES

Jun. 4th, 2015 02:31 am
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I’ve worn glasses since I was five. They’re not exactly my favourite thing.

I hated wearing glasses at school. They were ugly, they got in the way, they fell off my face, a particular little toad by the name of Natasha took delight in taking them off my face and throwing them away so I had to go looking for them and constantly got in trouble for being late back from P.E. as a result…
… You know, I was a bit of a thick child, it never occurred to me to tell the teacher why I was always late back. Anyway.

Then there was the time I was running around the playground, jumped off a piece of equipment, glasses fell as I jumped and I couldn’t change my trajectory in time not to land on them. My mum was PISSED OFF that time, as I’d just got that pair a week earlier.

I do remember the pair of glasses that had little cherries on the corners. Looking back, they must have been horrendously ugly, but I loved them.

I basically avoided wearing my glasses as much as humanly possible, until somewhere around age ten when I realised I couldn’t see anything useful, ever, and had to do something about it.

I had horrendous enormous glasses until I was about nineteen, when I got my first contacts and flatly refused to wear glasses ever again. Then Toby convinced me into a pair of remarkably fashionable frames (the year I was 23, I think?), which I’m still wearing eight years later. Plus contacts, except I work in IT, and staring at screens + aircon = easily dried-out eyes = contacts not my friend in the office.

So. Today, I had the initial “do you qualify?” appointment for iLasik surgery. Never expected to hear the line “you have lovely thick corneas”, but apparently I have lovely thick corneas. How about that.

So yes, in a couple of weeks, I am having my eyes lasered. I was amused at some of the warnings – no swimming, no makeup for a week, etc. I realise they do have to explicitly tell people these things, but … common sense really isn’t any more, is it? Like, yes, I’ve just had my eyeball CUT OPEN of course I will go sticking FOREIGN OBJECTS right up against it and risk eye infections. Durrrrr.

Laser eyes, baby! No more glasses! No more contacts! No more waking up blind going “where are the glasses, where”? No more fluffing about with contacts for dance events.

I am cheerfully excited about this. LASER EYES!!

Originally published at kiwi geek. You can comment here or there.

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I’m endlessly fascinated when I’m teaching. I look around the room, and there’s however many people there, doing something they might never have done before. We’re using a strange alchemy of words and movements and attempts at explanation – and hoping it will somehow translate, across the barrier of someone else’s brain into someone else’s body, in a way that will make sense to them, make sense to their partner, make sense to us when we’re looking at it…

It just endlessly fascinates me that this actually WORKS. We’ve said some words, shown some movements, said more words, tried again. We’ve done this, this bizarre thing, and the knowledge is departing from us and entering someone else’s brain.

And it astounds me to see it happening. And it’s a real… privilege? honour? I’m not sure what it is. Something. It’s just … bloody amazing, walking out of a class, seeing that room full of people doing something they’ve never done before, doing it well, and … knowing that somewhere along the lines, I’m responsible for that.

It’s amazing. I love it.

Originally published at kiwi geek. You can comment here or there.

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I got dropped in performance and my neck hurts and my feet are bruised and my ribs ache like they’re bruised and if I wear my glasses my head pounds worse but I can’t wear contacts 24/7 and wah wah wah. I’m tired and feel like I’m cold although that’s very unlikely so I’m sitting here in track pants with GEEK on the arse and a hoodie with shitty faux fur in the hood to keep my neck warm.


And the sodding dance teachers forgot the official makeup so, because I’m that sorta girl, I ended up going out and buying the appropriate makeup for the girls MYSELF. Maroon and gold, neither of which are colours I’ll be able to wear!


The weekend started on a kind of hilarious note. A, J and I carpooled down to the festival of the weekend, as the festival is in my hometown, where mum lives, so I was going to chill with my family while the girls did ALL THE DANCE, then I was just going to party at night.


About 30 mins away from our destination? A’s car died on the side of the road (J was travelling with her). I belong to a roadside assistance scheme which includes free towing. A does not, because her dad is a mechanic. So after some back and forth I eventually told her to STFU and accept the free tow the remaining 30 minutes to my mother’s place. The person I ended up speaking to could not locate me on a map, so eventually I just told her in painstaking detail where we were (it helps to be a local) and she relayed the wrong info to the towie. Sigh.


However, the towie did arrive, and started chortling when I relayed the destination address. Much to my amusement it turns out he’s towed my Mum in the last two months twice.


Anyways, A’s car gets on the tow truck, we trundle off towards Mum’s and we blow past a friend’s car (containing four dancers also en route to the festival). They’re all out of the car 10 mins from town.

We go “yeah, having a break.”

“… maybe we’ll call.”

I pulled over. We rung. Yup, dead car #2….


So I turned around, went back, piled two of the passengers & their gear into my car. While we did this, the towie blew past & honked.


Because it was the same towie who would be returning shortly to collect K’s vehicle.


Then I got ID’d at the bottle store buying wine, by a young man who apologised PROFUSELY for checking my ID = “oh my goodness, I am SO SORRY. You are THIRTY.”


So, jump forward to Saturday night – Mum’s in the audience of the showcase (which I was performing/got dropped in.) She’s sitting next to some people from Napier who are chatting to each other cheerfully and talking about the weekend’s curse on vehicles. Mum cracked up.


As it turns out, A’s dad (the mechanic) was in $nearby_town dropping off $things the next day – so they did an extra ~90 minutes driving, put A’s dead car – the auto transmission shit itself – on the back of the truck & drove it the three hours home. It worked out.


Honestly, I’m still grumpy & sore and such. But I can indeed see the funny side.




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I dropped the ball on this whole blogging thing. There’s been a lot going on that I just didn’t want to talk about on the Internet.


I’ve avoided measuring myself too obsessively with this whole weight change thing (or rather, I’ve tried!). However, after yet another throw out of things that don’t fit, I did haul out the tape measure.


Since the last time I took measurements, I’ve lost eight inches off the hips, eight off the stomach, and 6 off the bust. No bloody wonder I had to replace all my pants.


I’ve managed to stay off the soda, with the exception of dance-event-weekends when I need the caffeine to remain conscious.


I’ve been to a load of dance events. Performed. Learned choreography. Performed choreography. Competed in Champs, Open is next weekend. Taught a choreography (an international flashmob).


I don’t remember the last time my feet weren’t damaged in some way. My big toenails are a complete mess (thanks, Brisbane), I have blisters, a heel crack, bone bruising… The price I pay for being a dancer.


I commissioned my friend SPark to make me a Elephant. See, when I was a tiny, I had a beeeeg blue Elephant. I have distinct memories of this elephant, and was quite upset when my parents disposed of if (I’m informed that one too many episodes of baby-sick made it unpleasant as a tenant of the indoors, which seems reasonable enough!)


In January-ish this year, I realised that a) I am a grownup with disposable income b) one of my friends in the States makes plushies, amongst other things, for a living.



LOOKIT HOW CUTE IS THIS THING.


We had T’s birthday party a couple of weeks ago. It was lovely – a chilled out evening, bbq, friends. Really nice.


My sister in law and friends visited from the UK. It was amazing to have her here for the first time.


Life goes on?




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I am having a really, really good week on the dance front.


My beloved zouk teachers went overseas for six months. They had an utterly amazing trip and returned to New Zealand a month or two back. They’re teaching again, so of course I’ve promptly started going to their classes.


A week or two back, S asked if she and T could have a chat. I figured it wouldn’t be anything horrible, because if they did want to complain they’d do so immediately. After dying of curiousity for a week, we finally caught up, after class last night.


They want me to help out – basic admin stuff, take money, attendance, etc – for their classes, and act as an auxiliary teacher for zouk. In return, I get classes for free.


Hell yes!


Just before Congress, I’d also put my hand up as a general volunteer for the dance studio. (Unrelated to S&T.) Today, I ambled in to chat with the studio owner and his 2IC on my lunchbreak. For them, I’ll be general-warmbodied-helpful-person as required, and help wrangling people backstage at events, keep people in the loop in teams, that kind of thing. In return for which, S offered me 50% off courses / my next performance.


Again, hell yes!


These are all things I’d be doing anyway. I love dance, I get so much awesome out of it that I feel like I HAVE to give something (other than money) back. Teaching at the pub Thursday nights is part of it, yes, but I really want to be involved in the interest I just get so, so much out of. Now I am!




Highlights

Jun. 4th, 2013 03:39 pm
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This weekend has absolutely been the highlight of my year. Congress was amazing last year too – and this year was better. I’m a better dancer now, I know more people, I’m more confident; ergo I had a better time.


It helps that I managed to get down to 15 kilograms lost just before I flew out. I’m pretty damned happy with that.


This even though I’m sick as a dog. I went to the GP Thursday morning before I flew out, who gave me prednisone and refilled my asthma inhalers, antibiotics, and pseudoephedrine for the combination sinus/asthma/lung/something viral slash infection I had going on. And still gave me clearance to go to Congress! So I’ve been feeling less than flash hot but screw it, I had an amazing time anyway.


Zouk immersion was largely technique, which is exactly what I need as a dancer right now. I have a decent stash of moves; what I need is to be a better follower, a more responsive dancer, to kick my own abilities up another notch. Always striving to be a little better than I am.


Then workshops, parties, more workshops, more parties, dinner, alcohol, random chitchat with people. Our performance on the Friday was… well, personally I felt utterly shit about it, my shoes were sticking to the dance floor, my hairclip caught in my partner’s top, I just didn’t feel good about it at all. But the feedback from other people was good, so maybe it wasn’t as royally shite as I felt. There’s a couple of lovely photos, which my mother will be pleased to have, and there’s even one of me dancing bachata wearing the racktastic red dress on Saturday night. Then on Sunday I screwed up my courage, asked for – and had – a dance with one of the international instructors, followed by possibly the best dance I’ve ever had with my own instructor.


Then on Monday night, sitting in the hotel lobby waiting for shuttles to the airport, generally talking and gossiping and such, I decided to ask if I could play the grand piano. The hotel staff were fine with that, so I wandered over, sat down, and started playing. Comptine d’un autre été : L’Après-midi, from the score to Amelie. It’s my standard “this is an unknown piano” piece – it’s deceptively simple, and gives me time to get a feel for the instrument.


Then I became aware of a stunned silence – absolute breath-holding, you could drop a pin, silence – and looked up from the keys. Amongst the people crashed out on the lobby couches were two of NZ’s best tango dancers – amazing, amazing dancers, and wonderfully lovely people. And they’d started to tango around the piano, to my playing. It was the most magical, spontaneous, amazing moment.



(That’s my dance instructor standing behind me. What you can’t see is the stunned-mullet expression on his face. “You never, ever told us you could do THIS.”)




Lighter?

May. 8th, 2013 09:44 am
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Funny one from rehearsal last night. S (my partner / instructor) had not had anything like enough sleep, and we were practicing tricks. The one in question involves a lift.


We successfully did the lift, he put me down, and gave me a very tiredly puzzled face.


“You are lighter.”

“Yes?”

“Lighter?”

“About 12kg lighter than when we started, yes.”

Frown, tired, steps back, looks me up and down.

“Actually you look really good! And I can feel that you’re lighter. Huh.”


Honestly I just wanted to give the guy a hug, he looked so utterly shattered.


For the first time in ages, I didn’t come home with sore feet. I found some cheap, but nice, lyrical teaching sandals and oh MAN they are the most comfortable dance shoe I have EVER had on my feet. They are like heaven and I will be buying more at some point.


I also scored a red bra for twenty bucks on special. In my size. This is like finding actual powdered hens teeth. When paired with the racktastic red dress, I look amazing; Tobermory has threatened to tattoo “PROPERTY OF {NAME}” on my arse, just in case anyone gets ideas.


Congress is three weeks away. I am so excited.




Racktastic

May. 1st, 2013 08:12 pm
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The weight loss is going pretty well. I’m a smidge over 10kg down – affected somewhat by the two pizzas last week.


I’m going to the dance congress in five weeks. The theme of the party Saturday night is “paint the town red”. Clearly, the only appropriate outfit is a red dress. So I hopped on the internet and found one second hand, that being one of my minor superpowers.


It cost me forty bucks.


It’s the first dress I’ve owned in years from a straight size shop. A shop that doesn’t aim itself at fat chicks, but at anyone who wanders in off the high street. It fits like a charm. It is, admittedly, utterly racktastic, but seeing as I have a g cup, that’s not entirely surprising.


I love it.




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I bought new pants in, oh. January? February?


I can now remove one of those pairs without the previous ceremony of undoing them. Upon getting on the scales, the reason why is clear – I’m 10kg down.


I’m kind of pleased with that.


Yesterday had some ups and downs. Inexplicably woke up around 7, which is Too Early For Sunday. Then my laptop – faithful 2008-era macbook – died.


But, husband sourced me a replacement (techy friends are the best), I swapped out the hard drive for it’s original drive and will sell the carcass for parts, the drive is available for data restores onto my new to me machine.


Then the Zouk team from last year had a performance scheduled. We haven’t danced the routine together since Christmas. Unsurprisingly, rehearsal was less ‘rehearsal’ and more ‘oh crap no-one remembers the choreo’. Still, we rocked it, and there are some fabulous photos turning up on Facebook.


Then I went to the regular social Sunday dance. And realised that one of my regular touchpoints for “how’s my mental health” is “how willing am I to ask strange men to dance”. Brains, huh.


I got home around 11:30, exhausted, sweaty, and blissfully happy with my place in the world.




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It took me a long time to get into the right headspace to actually work on losing weight. And I finally worked out what the magic change was: I accepted myself as I was, first.


I’m not one for Internet rhetoric. But the ideas behind “health at every size” resonated with me. After all, I was fat, but I maintained reasonable-ish fitness and strength. I was always able to do what needed to be done – carry heavy loads, move equipment at work, clean and move furniture at home. I could walk wherever I needed to. I was healthy, and I had to accept myself as I was before I had the correct motivation to change.


I know that sounds counter intuitive. After all, if you’re trying to change yourself, you don’t actually like yourself as you are, right?


Prior to this, my attempts at weight loss failed. They failed because I was doing it for the wrong reasons, other people’s reasons. “I’m too fat!” “I’m ugly!” All the usual image-based horseshit. I’d lose a bit of weight, and promptly think “I hope other people are pleased with me”. Not “I’m pleased with me”, but other people.


Then I’d dive head first into a tub of icecream and attempt to feel better about myself that way. Unsurprisingly, it didn’t work.


Six years of wavering around later, I finally got into a headspace where I liked myself enough to accept myself as is. Having done so, I can now work to actually change what I am – because I WANT TO. Not because of what other people think of me, but because I want to.


I’m not saying my motivations are wholly internal. I am a dancer, and I want to be a better dancer – and realistically that involves having a smaller body. But I’m OK with that. It’s not “my dance partners want me to be thinner”, it’s “I want to be smaller for dancing”. The distinction is … small, perhaps, but important.


Both the scales and my trousers confirm that I’ve lost an entire dress size. I’ve gone down a bra size. And when I was getting dressed this morning, I realised I’ve lost a little wobbly bit at the back of my arm that had been irking me. Then I did a quick recce into KMart last night, to pick up a pair of harem pants for a performance this weekend; picked up my usual pants size, and realised upon a try-on that if the elastic falls right off your hips, you should go down a size.


When I look in the mirror, I have discernible stomach areas. I find that incredibly entertaining, because it’s actually the fat layer setting itself up in a mockery of a sixpack.


I’ve lost eight kilograms since the end of November. I’m quite proud of that.




Tricks

Mar. 16th, 2013 12:44 pm
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Fourth zouk rehearsal last night, in which we tried our tricks for the first time.


We’ve been partnered up with our permanent partners for the routine – and I’ve been partnered with the male instructor again. Unlike the last time, when it was basically a sympathy partnering based on my partner dropping out, I think this is a real choice based on body types and so on. The female instructor is tall and lanky (and gorgeous!) and is paired up with the tallest guy, who is SUPER lanky – they look really good together. The male instructor is, somewhat unusually for a dancer, built like a tank. Not fat, not by anyone’s mileage, but sturdy. Height wise and proportions wise, we look decent together – when I’m dancing with some of the slimmer lads, I do look wider by comparison.


Anyway, tricks. Although I’ve lost a fair amount of weight – five kg since November, which is an interesting trick given that I haven’t really been trying that hard – I’m still aware that I’m no lightweight, and lifting me isn’t necessarily an easy task. Even after the AWESOME freestyle lift last weekend. I was entirely prepared to be doing an alternative trick or… something. And I’d made it clear when I signed up that I was willing to drop out if the routine couldn’t allow for that.


But no – we went through the trick a couple of times. I need to practice the jump that gets us into the lift – as do several of the other girls – but S’s entirely happy to do this trick with me. I made it very clear that I did not mind if he said no, and (direct quote) “I’m built like a truck, I can lift you no problem, really, we are doing this trick.”


I couldn’t say thank you enough.


I am so happy being part of this studio – they try so hard to accommodate anyone who’s willing to work for what they want. And I am so willing to work hard for this, and my two years of learning and working is paying off.


I swear, I nearly cried right there in the studio.




Lift me up

Mar. 10th, 2013 02:00 pm
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This has been the most PHENOMENAL week dance wise. Rehearsals for the performance were great – the choreo is one of my favorite zouk songs! Plus, so far I know all the moves. I mean, I’ll have plenty of work to do refining it after all the work to learn it, but these aren’t new moves.


Thursday, teaching then dancing at the bar, was fun as ever, and I stayed until kicking out o’clock.


Then last night, went to another party, and caught up with a guy I’ve done several workshops with but not danced with much outside that. In our second dance of the night, he LIFTED ME. And it was awesome!! A simple lift, but dude. People don’t do lifts much socially to start with and they certainly don’t get my fat arse off the earth voluntarily, but this dude lifted me, properly, dropped me slowly straight into a deep cambre and oh my god it was AWESOME.


Dancing is like coming home every time I step onto the floor. I love this.




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We’re making progress around the house. Operation 2012: Tidy The Things was generally successful, and Operation 2013: Keep It Up is ongoing. Honestly, ongoing maintenance is the problem T and I have always had. We’re really good at doing Things when they are big enough to be Things. We are not very good at ongoing habits. But… we’re getting there.


A friend who’s handy was kind enough to investigate why the light fixture in our bedroom had died – it turned out to be the dimmer switch. No problem, we didn’t really use it anyway. Now we can fold laundry at night!


I went through my wardrobe again and generated another sackful of clothing I don’t need/don’t wear any more. Then went shopping to replace the things I actually NEEDED – work pants, work-suitable tshirts, shoes. Three hundred bucks later, I had three pairs of pants, a skirt, four shirts, and three pairs of shoes. Great success.


On a related note – why are the racks in the plus size section of Farmers closer together than they are in the rest of the store? This seems somewhat counter intuitive.


I’ve danced a lot less in the last couple of months. No particular reason – enforced break at Christmas, no classes I really felt like taking, my favourite teachers are still overseas, trying to be more sensible with cash… all of the above.


I’ve realised in the last week or two that I really NEED that time. As much as I’m an introvert, I need the people time. I need the energy, I need the exercise, I need the motivation and exhilaration I get from the challenge of dancing. I’m still teaching at the bar on Thursdays, which is good for me, but I need more than one night out.


So I’ve joined another performance course. Intermediate level this time; performing in Congress in Wellington in June. For which I won free accommodation, which is a nice boost to the budget.


Two and a half years I’ve been dancing. Who’d've thought I’d come this far?




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I have long posited that I’m solar-powered. I love love LOVE summer, I get something along the lines of SAD in winter, when I changed jobs and got out of the basement office my entire world view improved… if I’m having a bad day, if I sit in the sun for half an hour my viewpoint will do a 180.


So, today was darn near a perfect day. I went to a bbq / dance at the beach – it’s a regular (weekly) event, but I’ve never gone before, mostly because I do actually try and spend time with my husband on the weekends instead of buggering off to dance. However, this is a long weekend, so I’m spending Saturday/Monday with my love and Sunday with my second love (dance).


Anyway, bbq, beach, etc. I got a little sunburnt. It’s quite entertaining, really, because my left shoulderblade has this one patch of non burned skin on it. Right about where a partner’s hand sits when dancing…


Came home around 8, had a quick shower, headed out again to the studio for the weekly salsa social, discovered anew just how out of practice I am at salsa – and yet, I’m quite pleased with how I did, because while I might be a bit rusty, I can still keep UP.


Plus, I’ve had my dose of solar power, and I’m … happy.




Originally published at spinneretta

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“You have to love dancing to stick to it. It gives you nothing back, no manuscripts to store away, no paintings to show on walls and maybe hang in museums, no poems to be printed and sold, nothing but that single fleeting moment when you feel alive.”

― Merce Cunningham


I am starting the year with a new challenge. My dance partner from last year and I are going to try and put a choreography together, one that we spend more than six hours on!


Then we’re going to try and either make it a group choreo at the studio we’ve both learned at, and take it to Congress; or hang onto it, improve it as best we can, and take it to Nationals for attempt #2.


It’s going to be a lot of hard work, because there’s no point doing this and doing it half-assed. I’m not sure how the details are going to shake out, yet; but I am looking forward to trying.




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Today, I got so happily engrossed in work that I nearly missed my lunchtime leg&eyebrow-wax appointment. I got there about three minutes late, and realised on the way back to work that wearing tight jeans, in midsummer, on the day you get your legs waxed, is a really stupid idea! It was hot and my pores are complaining and my jeans stuck to my legs for the rest of the afternoon. I had a cold bath when I got home to give my poor legs a chance to cool down.


I got complimented on my makeup, which is funny for the following reason: I couldn’t get last night’s eyeliner OFF, so I cut my losses, tidied it up and put some eyeshadow on before I left for work. (Also, I love the Urban Decay palette that I acquired over Xmas, it’s fantastic.)


I went to a bar with workmates to farewell a workmate who’s disappearing to Australia, called my mum while I walked to the bus stop; I am now happily ensconced in the snug with Tigra, a Coke, and my husband has been sent out to acquire dinner.


It’s been a pretty good day.


I’ve started teaching zouk now. I am thrilled by this. See, the social nights I go to at a local bar start with a free beginner class. November-ish last year, I turned up early (ie, in time for the actual class – for hopefully obvious reasons I had been skipping it). The teacher was on his own, so I dived in to help. After that, he asked me to keep teaching with him, and hello YES PLEASE. I love teaching anyway, I love zouk, and this way I can give a little back to the hobby that’s given me so much. It’s basic basic beginner’s stuff, which I can do in my sleep, and I’m thoroughly enjoying teaching.


I suspect that there is another advantage to someone like me teaching. I am not intimidating – I am overweight, I am going to turn thirty this year, I am approachable for most of the women who show up for the first time. (Opposed to the slim twenty year old blonde stereotypical dancer.) I do have gorgeous hair, even if I say so myself.


So, people show up, they laugh at my jokes (all stolen from other dance teachers), they learn the steps, they go “you make it look so eaaaasy” at me, I generally feel good about myself.


As well as Cyclenut’s mum, who puts in regular appearances at the bar – did I mention that Cyclenut’s mum started turning up? She did, and I felt a bit awkward at first and then I got over it – I ran into a manager from my previous job. I got along well with him when I worked there, and we chit-chatted quite a bit last night (which was his first lesson). I even got a hug when he left!


I got some compliments on the class, which is always nice, and more importantly, several people cheerfully told me they’re coming back next week.


It’s been a pretty good week, actually.




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Dance is all sorts of things for me. Exercise, people contact, fun. I lost three kilos in the two weeks running up to Nationals.


A lot of it is escapism. It’s my third circle of acquaintance, the one that doesn’t interconnect with work or with home/friends/family (although I’d actually like it to). If I’m having a bad day at work I can go home. If I’m having a bad day at home, I can go dancing. If I’m having a bad day dancing, well, I can go home!


I get on reasonably well with my dance acquaintances. I’ve never made friends easily, but they’re a friendly bunch; I can chitchat and gossip happily, I can turn up to social events and not feel alone. We’re all united by enjoyment of the hobby, and that matters more than the differences in the rest of our lives.


Swimming’s the only thing that’s ever come close. The careful balance between me and my breath and the water. The crisp shock as I dive into the pool for the first time, the slice of my shoulders through the surface. The absolute aloneness of me and the water, even in a crowded pool. The challenge of working harder, swimming further, pushing harder, the burn of muscles and lungs, water breaking around me and the rush of air as I breathe.


Dancing’s like that. The stretch and ache of a warmup, the heartbeat snapping up and muscles burning, the tension of balance, connection, movement. For those three, four, five minutes that I’m dancing, nothing exists except the floor and our bodies, nothing matters but holding to the beat and the music.


Dancing feels like coming home.




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I don’t really have a bucket list.


But I just entered the NZ Salsa Champs in the Zouk Open category. We did pretty well, given our absolute lack of experience, and um also lack of PRACTICE, we did amazingly well. We – well, largely I – choreographed our routine in about 6 hours, it was fairly simple… We did good and I’m proud of what we accomplished in a VERY short time.


Cross that off the bucket list!!




Sequel

Oct. 28th, 2012 07:44 pm
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I have another video of myself dancing, now. Today’s, from rehearsal. I feel better about things; I’ve had some pull-head-out-of-arse time, I went out dancing Thursday, rehearsal Friday, then dance partying Friday and Saturday nights, plus had today’s (Sunday) rehearsal – what WAS I thinking seriously, my poor feet.


The point of all that is that I’ve shoved the warghle into some sort of box, and am periodically aiming projectiles at it so that it gets progressively uncomfortable and hopefully dies in there.


On Saturday, a woman that I’ve never met before came over and asked where I learned to dance zouk. I gave her my teacher’s details, and she said “thanks! Because you are AMAZING”. Ego: boosted. And I got to dance with a whole bunch of people, the music was amazing, the performances were amazing, the crowd was lovely and warm and welcoming, I had fun, and came home at 1am on Sunday on top of the world and ended up playing Torchlight II for an hour until I wound down enough to sleep.


Rehearsal today didn’t go terribly well for me, for tiredness reasons, but in the video I have improved on Tuesday’s efforts. That makes this a win.



Tuesday did start me thinking, though. I did a bit of navel gazing, as you do, and I came to the conclusion that I’ve never really had a good body image. This is NO fault of my mother – I doubt she ever had any awareness of my self image.


I remember being bullied because I had dark arm hair, and detesting that as a child. I remember detesting my short sight and my stupid glasses, detesting the ill health that made me breathless and unable to keep up with the other kids in sports. (Undiagnosed asthma, eventually diagnosed in my teens.) I remember constantly wishing that I was a bit taller (youngest in my class), a bit faster, a bit fitter, a bit more tanned. I distinctly remember sitting in church with my mother, thinking about how exotic I’d look if I was the colour of the hymn book. I wanted to look different, to not be me, even back then.


Then I went through the inevitable teenage-girl-body-hatred, with a side dish of “not-eating the year I was sixteen”, fucked my metabolism quite thoroughly as a result, packed on thirty kilos in three years, settled at my present size and weight for the subsequent six, and here I am.


It’s no particular wonder that the idea of body acceptance was new and novel, when I ran across it in my early twenties. I’d never accepted my body as it was, and it had never occurred to anyone around me that I had such a problem with myself. It had never occurred to ME that it was unusual! As always, the retrospectocope is a powerful device.


Progress is being made. I guess that’s the important point.




emsk: (Default)

I’m struggling tonight.


I have a video of myself dancing. Practicing, at tonight’s performance zouk rehearsal. I’ve never seen myself dance before.


What I see? 200 pounds of blubber. Flapping about on the stage and it is not a pretty sight. If I continue with this it will be in spite of myself, not because I’m enjoying it, but because I’m not going to let myself be such a FUCKING IDIOT as to stop doing something I love just because I hate the way I look doing it.


It’s no-one’s fault but mine. If I lost weight… or if I wasn’t up on stage, I wouldn’t care.


What I see is not how I feel when I’m dancing, what I see has absolutely nothing to do with how I feel when I’m dancing. And there are bits of me that can see that watching the video of myself over again. I can see someone who, despite the fat… I can do the moves, I’m moving in time, I’m not heavy on my feet.. I’m flexible and I’m capable of doing what I’m asking my body to do. I’m in the right spots on the right time. Admittedly you can’t always see that I’m making all the right moves because the blubber’s hiding the muscle. But…


I don’t know. I’m proud of what I can do, I’m proud of the work I’ve put in, and I’ve put in BLOODY hard work. I have worked my ASS off. And other people must be able to see it, I KNOW they can because they say so! They ask me for help, and the girls ask me how to do things, and it’s not because I push my nose in although I suppose maybe I have and I’m just not aware of it? But they don’t have to keep coming back, they could just ask each other rather than asking me. So no, I’m not incapable.


And my teachers could have let me drop out when my partner pulled out. They didn’t have to keep me dancing. They had an easy out and they COULD have taken it and they DIDN’T. So that means that me being on stage is worth something. It’s not worth much but it’s worth something.


Just because I hate the way I look doesn’t mean other people do, it just means that I hate it. And come to think of it, one of the reasons I love watching my first ever zouk teacher dance is that she’s overweight. She’s … slimmer than me, and more muscular than me, and she has far more of a defined waist than I do because apparently I carry fat there, but you know what? She looks GORGEOUS when she dances, so why shouldn’t I?


I’m never going to be like her, but nothing stopping me being like me.


And I keep thinking, every time I’m out socially, that I’m… why should I be put off because I’m the second biggest girl in the room? No-one else seems to mind; I still get invites to dance, and by strange guys as well as friends. So it’s not like I’m repulsive to the male part of the human race. I need to get over myself, right?


Get out there and be proud of what I can do. Even if I can’t be proud of what I look like, I can be damn proud of the work I’ve put in.


So maybe that’s what I go out and do.


Maybe that’s the answer.




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November 2015

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