what are all us not bendy barbies but middle aged and passionate about dancing but want a little more than social dancing supposed to do?

I think I am missing dancing and may want to dance a bit more. At the moment I social dance attending a lovely friendly local tribal belly dance class where we get to dance together once a fortnight. This class is warm full of joy and very inclusive and pitched at the right level so everyone can feel good about their dancing. In tricky times in last year on days when work has had my last sane thought, and I am so tired it is this class that has lifted my spirits and filled my heart with fun and joy.

I went to  a different dance class yesterday. It was still full, inclusive and full of joy but the shift was on learning specific technique to improve your personal dance. It was lead and facilitated by a very experienced and qualified dance teacher. She very skilfully unpicked a move, described and made us apply technique and then layered this move up so we started to dance. We were watched and gently critiqued so we all went home feeling we had made some progress and had something to work on!

I do dance at home but not as much as I used to. There was a time in my life when I was always striving to improve my dancing both technically and creatively and I would dance every day. I attended as many workshops as possible and had numerous private lessons to improve my dance.
My dance perspective was always to be as best as I could possibly be particularly when out dancing in front of an audience. I think I took the same approach as a teacher always seeking to offer something new to support my class with also striving to be the best dancers they wanted to be.

As I have written before suddenly a couple of years ago I just lost my mojo. Dancing no longer felt full of joy and my first passion. It became a chore and not something I wanted to do so much. So apart from enjoying myself with dancing and drumming I just stopped. So for the past year and half I have taken up in the circle of the lovely local tribal group. Swishing, shimmying about and having fun. It’s been good to apply my dance skills to a different dance form and meeting some fabulous women to dance with.

So the dance session I went to yesterday was the first time I have done any real dance development for a long time. All enthusiastic afterwards coming home in the car a dance friend and I were discussing the view of seeking more dance development. As soon as this discussion started it all my old knowledge and experience surfaced and I was back there wanting to be a dance leader. I then got into how to organise, where and how would we do more dancing and how would it fit into the belly dance world of friends and social groups and sensitivities at wanting to pursue something more than the local dance offer. I started to think about all that I had to offer as a dancer and dance teacher and to review my CV of hard work and dance study and commitment I have put in over the years both as a dancer and teacher. I wanted to be in it all again.
I came home thinking about workshops and events whether I could set up a class. And you know what? I started to get really stressed about it all.
Here are some of my stressed out head thoughts:
– If I taught I would want a local class and there are already a couple of local teachers and classes I wouldn’t want to stand on toes or upset anyone and anyway why would anyone come?
– Perhaps I could go further afield to a teacher for my personal development? How would I manage such a long drive and anyway it’s the same night. Also what would you do with it? Wouldn’t folk think you were just becoming an arrogant know it all dancer with little talent?
– If I organise a workshop it could end up costing lots and anyway could I organise workshops and haflas if I don’t teach?
– Organising events are really stressful
– If I organise anything people will think she’s right up herself and hate me

Super stressed I have become and I do not like this Jude. I remember of old and she’s not good company to be with. She critiques every dance experience and wants to keep striving for more and better and better all the time. This is how I burnt out and lost my mojo before.
I am so upset with myself and poking about and in my head upsetting the constant I have worked hard at of turning up smiling, taking no responsibility, passing no judgements or views based on knowledge experience or otherwise and dancing for fun.

It has reminded me of all the reasons I stepped away from the dance scene. I have to remind myself that there is some reality behind my stressed out thoughts. As a middle aged woman it is unlikely that many people would really want to come to my class. I am not a glam bendy Barbie and most folk are not interested in me sharing the knowledge and experience I have to offer. Also in my area there are already existing classes so setting up any new local class may offend folk I like and there is also probably no need for an Egyptian belly dance class. Unless I am prepared to drive a long way there is no local class for my serious dance development and I have been here frustratingly over and over again.
The trouble is once you have developed your skills and knowledge about a topic it is quite tricky not wanting to pursue development to improve. You know what you know and not using your knowledge can be quite frustrating. So a little bit more of structured dance development wouldn’t go a miss. Perhaps I need to sit back and hope that someone might make an offer or dangle something nearby.
For now I think I will concentrate in my drumming and indeed my dancing drum solo for next performance! I welcome suggestions thoughts or ideas though …… what are all us not bendy barbies but middle aged and passionate about dancing but want a little more than social dancing supposed to do?

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