I spent the long weekend in Wellington dancing.
Sometimes I look at myself and I actually don’t recognise me, given where I started five years ago. Flying to another city, alone, going alone to events with I don’t know how many hundred people, none of whom are close friends although many are decent acquaintances, in order to dance. I mean… what. How did I turn into that girl?
There were some nice moments, which have really served to boost my ego.
In a zouk musicality workshop with an excess of women, William* was grabbing spare girls and dancing with them. He wanted to demonstrate something, tried it with me first, and then showed the rest of the class. It was a nice little ego boost.
Their English is not the best ever, but they were perfectly able to teach with the smattering of bits they have. I think the funniest line was probably “what is this bit? head body joiner? The name?” “… neck?” “yes! neck!”
Fast forward to last night. They came up for a few workshops in Auckland – they’re in Australia next weekend, and the director of my usual dance studio managed to score two nights of their time for extra workshops. I went to one last night. We’re rotating round the class practicing/learning stages of the move, which was both complex and awesome. I get to William, right about as he’s doing the ending part of the move. He asks my name, so I tell him. He gets everyone’s attention. “Everyone, look, everyone. We show you last bit of move – this my good friend, we dance together a LOOONG time, ever since Congress! She very good dancer, we show you now.” EGO. BOOSTED.
This was further assisted about ten minutes later. There’s a regular I dance with, who is a very large islander. Lovely lovely guy, light as a feather on his feet, fantastic dancer. Dancing with him in the class last night, he goes “I can see why my boys like dancing with you.” (not his sons. His boys/mates/bros, you get the idea.) It so happens that I really like dancing with his boys, one of whom delivered the line “that was awesome, you are really light on your feet” a few months ago. I’m still in two minds about how complimentary that line was, but hey-ho.
Another thing, although not so much a story. There’s a saying that goes around at congress and similar events. “Beginners always want to do improvers, improvers do intermediates, and advanced dancers get private lessons so they can work on their fundamentals.” It would be funnier if it wasn’t true!
Anyway, I’d been vaguely feeling fraudulent, as I do, with the “augh am I actually good enough to be in this workshop” shit. But you know what? I actually am. I was watching zouk demos after classes, and I can DO those moves. I can isolate four sets of muscles in my core. Right down in pelvis, under belly button, over bellybutton, just under ribs. Am I the Zouk Queen of Awesome? Not yet, and I probably never will be. Am I shit? No. Am I happy with this? Yes.
* William and Paloma, the world zouk champs, were teaching. They are just OMG AMAZING and I am seriously feeling quite honored to have had the chance to learn from them.