‘Are you a dancer?’ Is a question that makes me cringe. I associate it with instant judgement of my form, body, lines, face, confidence, etc.
When I was a kid, dance was freedom and expression. It was movement, creativity and playfulness. But along the way that was harnessed. It was as if me as a dancing kid was just the indicator to be put into a role but not the role itself. The role wasnt to feed the creativity, it was to turn the movement into something precise that was created by someone else.
There was a point in my dance training where I had a strong feeling of ‘this is not what I signed up for’. I wanted to feel more free in my expression and movement but it actually made me hyper aware of how ‘bad’ I was at dancing. The thing I had been using for years to heal and express was ‘wrong’. Getting the message that I needed to be a functional member of society now and do things ‘the right way’.
This really tainted my relationship with creativity and expression. I saw it as immature and something to leave in childhood so I turned towards the ‘technicals’ and looking ‘right’.
Now.. I understand that technique exists for a reason and is important. But how did I go from dancing freely to this suffocating feeling that I am ‘doing it wrong’ when I dance on the ground.
And it’s not just dancers. So many aerialists without a dance background are petrified of moving on the floor. This perception that you have to have sacrificed your weekends from the age of 3 for dance classes to be worthy of moving your body on the floor to music.
Who can relate to this? Why is this?
Is it all the judgey talent shows we see, the perception that dancers are perfect, the comments we have carried with us?
I STILL hate being a few inches away from an apparatus in performance. It’s my new mission to change this 🧡