“How’d your performance go last night?”
“Really well! Thanks!”
The above interchange was brought to you by 200+ days of improv practice, and would NOT have happened without it. Let me explain…
I typically perform with my students in duets, trios, quartets, or large group numbers. We dance choreographed pieces after months of practice. Before last night, every time I broke out of that mold and brought an improv piece to the stage I came off stage sure that what I’d done was terrible.
Not mediocre – terrible. Simple. Boring. Repetitive. Lame.
When there was video of my performance I was, sometimes, able to see moments of positivity in my work but even that was hard for me to really believe. They say we are our own worst critics, and I lived up to that and then some.
But last night was different.
I was nervous but calm (strange but true) before taking the stage at the hafla, but the real magic happened during and after the performance. For the very first time – the VERY FIRST TIME – I wasn’t beating myself up while I danced, AND I FINISHED FEELING LIKE I DID A GOOD JOB! I felt this before I watched the video, I felt it while I watched the video, and I’ve felt it every time I’ve thought about it since.
The exercise of focusing on the positive, even while naming the negative, that we use in our reflections during the 100Days(tm) challenge has (finally) sunk in and worked its magic. I feel like I’ve turned a really important corner in my dance life, and I’m looking very much forward to see what’s on this block.