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Aftercare….it’s not just for scenes.

April 27, 2010

So the last couple of weeks have been a roller coaster of emotions. With IMsL done I had a week to polish and perform my dance piece. My dance mentor and friend Asharah was coming to Charlottesville to teach 6 hours of workshops and perform. To be on the same bill as her was nerve-wracking as it was but to also take two classes with her before hand meant a long day. Especially since I hadn’t been in a dance class in almost a month and a half.

I was pleased with how well I did in the first class on Turkish Tribal Fusion.  9/8 rhythms with zils and I kept up rather well. I sweated more than I have in a long time and it felt good to push my body a little further than I have in a long time.  As much as I enjoyed the first class it was really the second class that I was looking forward to.  Asharah’s “Dancing your Demons: Dramatic Dance through Emotional Expression” class is something I have been wanting to take since she created the class. As someone who feels that art needs to have an emotion behind it or else it means nothing I was excited and nervous with what this class would do for me.   In the end I was wiped out and emotionally exhausted. I cried more than once and went down into parts of myself that I normally only do when i am doing some kind of SM play. I was even able to draw parallels to the experiences and emotions I was having in the class and what I experience in an emotionally cathartic scene. The only real difference is that there is still some fear in delving deep in my dance as I am bearing my soul to an audience as opposed to bearing it to the person I am submitting to.  I had changed the piece I was going to perform to about 3 weeks before performance. I scrapped a month of work to pick something that I thought would hold less emotion for me.  The piece reminded me too much about my former girl and some of the decisions I had made to work on my emotional self.  It was too raw so I dropped it for now and of course with the class under my belt I wonder if that was the right decision.  It’s left me wondering why I am so afraid to let it all show to an audience but put me in a dungeon with my Sir or a play partner and I will let myself drop deep to the point of sobbing tears.

Is it because I know the dungeon will not judge?

So a new angle of looking at my dance and myself is showing. Why am I afraid to show my true self to everyone? Fear of rejection? misunderstanding? Stuff to really look into and see where it leads.

What was also interesting is that the song and dance I made which was supposed to have no emotion behind it ended up having more emotion than I expected. The piece was originally going to simply be a steampunky piston and gears piece but instead it became about the expectation to be like everyone else. Dance like everyone, be like everyone. It found emotion to pull from with my IMsL experience. I actually lost control of the dance. The emotion became so much that I felt lost on the dance floor at one point. I found it again but it was a weird experience. When I was done I felt as drained as doing a scene. Almost cathartic but without the crying. I couldn’t allow myself to go that far because frankly I didn’t think my dancing sisters would completely understand. Also I didn’t want to go down that far without knowing I had someone who could really pull me out of it.

The last couple of weeks has been physically and emotionally draining and recovering from it all has taken more work that I expected. It’s left me a little more fragile than usual and hesitant to jump back into things even though it would be the best thing for me.

I think what I am lacking right now is a sense of aftercare. A sense of pulling myself out of what I have been through. A sense of moving forward.  I need a reset. I need certain people in my life to say ‘it’s all good’. I need a new assignment. I need to find the path again as I feel like I have wandered off of it.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. May 4, 2010 1:48 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing this deeply touching tale… I look forward to seeing what the next chapter holds.

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