In a totally unexpected and fantastic turn, I was asked to do my first paying performance with the group last weekend. I was so, so, so excited! We danced numbers that we’ll perform at our big show on Friday night – at a house party. Granted, it was a large, elaborate, strange house party with throngs of people, the hosts of which had hired not just a burlesque/cabaret group, but a live brass band. Nuts.
I’m not sure how I got here. Then again, I’m not sure that’s a problem. I felt the pressure and outsider-ness of being the new girl, the adrenaline of a performance, the anxiety of knowing that I’d remove much of my clothing in a room full of strangers…but it was fun. I messed up plenty of times, the floor was slick, and my nerves made sure that my feet didn’t always move the way I’d practiced. But that’s the nature of performing, I guess. At the end of the night, my instructor asked me if I was available for company rehearsals, when they had them. Why yes, yes I am.
Still…I don’t have many people to tell about this news. My boyfriend, of course. My best friends, sure. But my fellow classmates? Mmm, no. Co-workers? Probably not. My mom? Definitely not. Where do I work into the conversation that dance class is more than just choreographed movements? That I have fishnets and fake hair and character shoes and spirit gum for my pasties in my backpack? And even bigger – does the fact that I shy away from telling them mean that I’m ashamed about it? Or just private?