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May 4th, 2019

west coast swing show case

#ballroom
So I don't like performing. But I love learning a choreography and dancing that to music. Just like I love rehearsing improv and musical theatre but don't like performing in front of a real audience.

I signed up for a West Coast Swing performance that was scheduled for tonight. It's been really great in identifying some technical flaws I have, and the performance was very low stakes to me. There were 3 other couple dancing the same song at the same time, and since I'm a newbie at WCS, I was confident that people would watch the flashier, more competent people, and that I wouldn't grab their eye.

The dress rehearsal went great.

The sold out show a few hours later sucked.

When the stage manager lined us up for our onstage time, my teacher/partner wasn't there. The stage manager told me to get to my spot on stage anyways and I refused. The lights came on, with the three couples on stage. Without me.

The lights go back off.

The lights stayed off for about five minutes as people hunt down my partner. In the meantime, I'm in the dark, the audience is in the dark, and my chill/no-stress vibe had gone out of the window and I was battling feelings of rejection, no one wanting to dance with me, wallflower issues and every insecurity that most people who go social dancing face.

My West Coast teacher finally shows up. He was dancing with a bunch of students tonight, and had six costume changes. He danced two songs before mine, but that dance and mine were both Star Trek themed, so he didn't have to change his costume. But he forgot and went to change his costume.

He walked me to our spot, and the lights came on, while we were walking. So now, the very full audience is watching us. And probably assuming that the student (me) had a freak out moment or something and caused them to have to wait.

I was completely discombobulated and missed some leads and I forced myself to smile, since it was a performance, I don't know how convincing that was.

And finally my dance was over. I grabbed my stuff, and left before the first act was over. I drove 2 miles away, went directly into ABD's social at Uptown Dance, in the middle of their Foxtrot mixer, and just immediately started dancing one ballroom dance after another to get the taste of the showcase out of my mouth.

I am not mad at the teacher. He is sweet and reminds me of Andy who can be forgetful sometimes. It's live performance, it happens. But maybe I should just do dress rehearsals and skip actual stressful performances.