Last week I tried to back out of learning hoop choreography for a performance at hoopcamp. I agreed out of excitement and said yes to learning via video, as the creator Jennifer Dennehy, lives all the way across the country from me. I scheduled "learn choreo" every day for WEEKS before finally forcing myself to sit down and at least attempt to start. I pressed play, watching Jennifer and her student glide across the floor with dance technique alien to me. It was so beautiful AND stressed me the f out! My face flushed and my heart dropped a little. There seemed to be NO way I could learn this myself. I honestly was too overwhelmed to even start. I sent her message stating that I felt I had too much on my plate and wasn't sure I could get it done. Her response was exactly what I needed, though it didn't let me off the hook.
She let me know that her creation would suffer if I dropped out at this point and that she knew that I was probably just overwhelmed with having to learn something new and so totally outside my frame of reference as a dancer. Jennifer knew from reading various posts of mine on FB that I had long had a mental block to choreography and structured dance in general. Dang transparency!! Gah! Over nearly my entire 20 years as a hoop dancer most of my performances where either 90% improv, or choreography created by me (your own movement is far easier to follow... heh). I had a disastrous dance class when I was around 7, the patterning of which has me break out in a sweat whenever anything resembling having to follow someone else's movement. Thank goodness, Jennifer did what is difficult for most to do. She challenged me. She held me to my own high standards and didn't let me quit in a moment of mental anxiety. If only we could all do this more for each other, imagine how much we would encourage each other to grow? One key to this exchange is that she also made it clear she would respect my choice either way. So, I gave it a couple days and came back with some mental clarity. I chose to jump in even though it scared the crap out of me.
We agreed to "meet up" on Skype so Jennifer could teach me the choreo. Clearly, I needed a little hand holding.. Ha! I would like to say that I was totally fearless and did everything just peachy, but I fumbled and stumbled and nearly gave up again at one point. Luckily my illustrious and patient guide was able to affirm my common experience of doubt and keep me off the ledge ;) We worked for about an hour and I think I might actually be doing ok, even though most of the movements are to the right (Jennifer hoops to the right) and I am used to mostly turning to the left. Gah! The universe isn't letting me off easy with this one it seems. Touch'e Universe ;)
After our session was done and we chose a few other dates to rehearse, Jennifer casually mentions that our performance is the finale of the hoop camp performance showcase. <---insert slight panic here. Sigh. Isn't it amazing how life gives us opportunities to move past so MUCH, cloaked in seemingly simple things? All wrapped up in learning this piece for hoop camp, I get to get over fear of looking ungraceful, fear of being awful at something I am "supposed" to be great at, fear of what my fellow hoopers will think of me if I mess up in the freakin FINALE... and probably more things that have yet to come up. If you have read this far, thank you. I feel your support! If you are coming to hoop camp, you will see the fruits of this labor ;) Here's hopin its a massive breakthrough in favor of a massive humbling. Ha!