My new teacher began by explaining the basics of ATS, how it is a language of moves and each has a cue. She described how ATS dancers from different corners of the world could meet, and even if they could barely understand one another, they could perform a beautifully improvised set with no rehearsal whatsoever. This concept was new and intriguing. Even moreso was my teacher, as she spoke with such passion about the dance. She proceeded to show us the moves we would be going over that evening. She moved with such skill and grace, it was mesmerizing. Suddenly I found myself coveting her skills and passion for dance, and I knew I'd do whatever I could to develop them.
As she taught us the moves my clumsy body did it's best to cooperate. My left/right dyslexic tendencies did not make things any easier, and my general lack of coordination would have been a hilarity to observe I'm sure. I think by the end of the night, I could successfully do the Pivot Bump! Lovely and simple and my sole ego boosting (preserving?) move for the rest of the session - particularly after the dreaded Egyptian, which my brain could not comprehend. So, I thought, she wants my feet to move a certain way, while my hips take turns bumping up and forward - and she has the nerve to ask my arms to move as well? Don't forget the count - and then adding a turn?
Are you KIDDING me?!
Then came dancing in groups. Our dance teacher conceded that yes, this might be scary, but there has to be a first time! You can get through this! Well I did - barely. My anxious tears didn't fall and a sweet woman in a bright skirt brushed my arm with a motherly touch. She told me I did well, and that it'd get better. Maybe I did, or maybe she just saw my eyes glisten, still - she saved the day.
There were a couple nights I went home after dance and had a few self-pity tears. I felt like my limbs were in cahoots against me and I'd never improve. My emotions were also still very fragile from the anxiety and hurt that spring had brought me. And to top it off, my pride was hurt. Like I said, I'd never done anything like this before. I was used to being 'good' at art and music, not quite so challenged like this. But I was still determined to finish up the 6 weeks. I'd paid for them, and I'd promised myself I'd complete it, if just to say 'I tried'.
I had to keep going.
Part Three tomorrow :)