I like that picture. No one has ever photographed my feet that I'm aware of. At least not intentionally. I do remember looking down at my partner's feet periodically, we danced a couple of times and since it was the middle of the day and there was lots of light I could see lots of things I had time to think about those shoes and wonder about them probably the same way people wonder about some things about me. I dance up on the balls of my feet. It's wrong, it doesn't work, it causes problems (I only know this because I'm told this). Whatever. If I keep remembering to bend my knees things will get better. For someone (it certainly helps me in some cases with some dancers). I guess it's all subjective. Anyway, the swing. I hadn't meant to be talking about The Swing but since I was noticing my feet I guess that's where I've landed. A lot of my posts end up that way; they have a mind of their own. I'll come back to this I think.
At a couple of New York dances and at the Dawn Dance up at Brattleboro as well where lots of people come from all over, I danced with a couple of young men, boys, really, who were really nervous by the time I got to them and if it was early enough in our 11 or 12 minutes together I could do something about it, if not, we just sort of rode it out and by rode it out, I mean rode out their discomfort, not mine.
Bouncy boys. There are bouncy girls too. And bouncy men and bouncy women and there are really all sorts of swings. In New England there is something called a classic or perfect New England Swing. It is apparently flawless (I have no idea what that means), smooth as glass and wonderful. I have no idea what that means. I don't have it whatever it is. It's only ever been an issue up at Greenfield and only in that I don't have it. Whatever it is. Anyway, you move on to other dances and the perfect swing is something else and I'll tell you, you're bound to be doing it wrong somewhere, somehow unless you're a bouncy boy or a bouncy girl or one of a few other offenses. Back to the bouncy boys since I'm on the subject. They're new, they start out happy and overly exuberant and they're doing their damn best just to end up in the right place at the right time. I consider it a bloody miracle if they manage to make eye contact because that's a new concept. If you aren't in New England, let's say you've migrated South into CT or NY, the eye contact thing isn't always so hard, comes a little more naturally (no joke, this is the truth). So the bouncy boys, somewhere along the line run into me or some other woman and invariably apologize for being too bouncy and I say, 'what?' and he says 'she told me I was too bouncy.' And I don't ask who I just say, 'you're perfectly fine' and I say this because I know perfectly well his swing is going to even out eventually and he's going to relax and become, most likely a really beautiful dancer sooner rather than later especially if he isn't scared. He will have some quirks, they all seem to have some quirks and that's part of what makes them wonderful. You never do know what you're going to get. Some people hate this shit. Well, I guess that's why it's called improv. Maybe, partly, I don't know for sure. So, some of them stay a little bouncy, some of them drop down low, some stay up high, you adjust to who and how and what they are and I notice they also adjust to me. I like that, it makes it a lot easier to just dance and nobody gets all uptight. Gosh, I must have been to Brooklyn lately. :-)
So here is why I feel so awful for the bouncy boys. Because periodically I will finish a dance with a partner and he will look at me and say, beautiful swing, thank you. And I will nearly fall over in shock and want to ask him, to whom are you speaking? Your last partner? Because you certainly cannot be speaking to me. I don't say that. I just look at him, smile sweetly and move onto the next partner in a state of nervousness that causes me to walk my swings because suddenly I'm absolutely positive I'm going to eff something up. For sure. This only happens North. I'm so neurotic. Anyway, this is what enough negative feedback, fed back in a not so nice way can get you. NERVOUS.
I'm looking at the balls of my feet and I'm remembering two things. First, I was really happy, and second, my feet were sticking to that floor which made it difficult but I didn't want to stop and put my shoes on. Barefoot just seemed better. When I dance like nobody's looking I feel wonderful and when I dance like nobody who matters is looking, then dancing with NM is like flying. I'm still working on that.
Back to my feet.
Today I hit a wall. No, that's not true. Yesterday I hit a wall or maybe it was the day before or the day before that. It's hard to say because I can hit a wall pretty hard and keep walking or at least give a damn good impression that I'm still walking but my critical thinking goes right in the toilet and emotionally I'm complete wreckage. I do my best to stop talking or talk less because I have no idea what's going to come out of my mouth. Tears would be best but tears in a work environment aren't forwarding. My head hurts. Just a little and at the periphery but it does hurt.
Yesterday I sat down in front of my computer a little after 8 when Elizabeth got picked up for dance and I started working. I had server trouble and report trouble and had to do things manually and then there was some bad data and things that should have been resolved easily became nightmares. It was like trudging through quicksand with a bottom. I was only in 4 feet but moving through it wasn't going so well. The sound of the cat purring loudly was too much to bear. I asked Cletus to make him leave because Mommy was going to lose her shit. Cletus took the cat and went to her room. Elizabeth let too.
No! Not you two! I like that you two are in here, it's helping me. Besides, the damn cat came back and he's still making that infernal noise.
She came back, Elizabeth in tow. This was helping with the isolation. NM is gone for the weekend. I miss him when I hit a wall. He's helpful but not necessary. At 11 PM last night I realized I'd been making it unnecessarily difficult on myself and really dragging the process out for my counterpart and I think that's when my brain stopped working entirely. I didn't even have it in me to cry. See, I'd been getting these messages on the server that the drive was out of space but it wasn't. It took me awhile to realize it was a different drive, a drive that receives files and that something else was going on and it was probably interfering with my shit and oh, FML. Really. I stopped. I wanted a shower, my toothbrush and my boyfriend probably in that order. I could have the first two no problem. There was a 2 % chance I'd get the third so I left the lights on and went to bed. After the shower and the toothbrush. I'm thinking breaking out the tragic halloween candy at 9ish wasn't such a good idea. The girls fed me a microwaved burrito to offset the sugar. Starburst candycorn. OK in theory. In theory.
I have until tomorrow to get my insurance and FSA elections complete. I have until Tuesday night to get my annual self-evaluation completed. I'm feeling demoralized at the moment. Not the best time to write one of those.
I'm looking back up there at my feet. Those are happy feet. If I can just hang on to that, let go of the fact that I'm dancing up on the balls of my feet which is bad and hang on to the fact that they're happy feet I'll probably be OK.
I'm thinking about this. I have always danced on the balls of my feet. Always. Even when I was very small. I remember this. I think it's about flying. I think it's about joy. I think it's about spinning around the room with my arms out or in and then in great fields catching the wind with my eyes open or shut looking up at the sky or just feeling the world. Dancing on the balls of your feet is a spring board (oops, bouncy dancer) for flight, it's the launch into the leap, the spin, the pirouette or sometimes just that jump as high as I can to meet Jumping George in the air which is the balance to his swing.
I'm wondering what it would be like to be met on the balls of my feet? Metaphorically or otherwise?
This is silly, I'm just sad today.
I'm working on not being on the balls of my feet. I'm working on sliding left and right, back and front, bending my knees and staying DOWN. A pivot that is down is just plain odd but OK, I can do this.
God. What a mess. It will all be over soon. I am happy that I got to write. This is helpful. I did not get to dance this week. I will not see my home dance next month either. That is also making me very sad.
Crap. Step left, Alecto. It's going to be OK.
I'm looking up at my feet.