Tuesday, January 22, 2013

rust never sleeps...

   Performing brings a dancer so many challenges to overcome: bad bosses, crappy performance spaces, listless audiences, costume malfunctions, the list goes on and on. Aging brings even more challenges to dancers who find themselves using equipment that's disintegrating. That sounds horrible but that's the reality of our material bodies.
   Adrenaline usually takes care of most aches and pains during a performance, but the same can't be said about rehearsing - that's where you usually feel it. Winter weather really brings out the aches and pains too, especially if you have arthritis as I do, so I find myself skimming through my own dance practise at times, or else I'll be too sore for teaching. I know my moves aren't the same when I'm trying to "not hurt", for instance I give my performance on New Year's Eve a rating of 7 on a scale of 1 - 10. The moves could've been bigger, but I was trying not to hurt. At least I'm out there dancing at age 57. I'm happy that I feel able to not only disclose my age now (something I wouldn't do while dancing in restaurants), but celebrate it. You don't get 20+ years of experience by magic, you get it by aging - so let's hear it for growing older!
bellydance performance photo
"I'm 50 and I like to KICK!"* (Actually I'm almost 58)
This is where bellydance is certainly different from most other dance forms. You won't see any older ballerinas performing - but in bellydancing, we keep going.
And I know that if I DIDN'T keep bellydancing, it would be even worse for my body. When I feel the accumulated aches and pains of my dance career, that thought keeps me going. As the saying goes, "rust never sleeps". Besides, there's a certain powerful feeling you get from just "being real", isn't there? Instead of inwardly knowing you're being a fake - after all, so much of performing is "acting". I find it rather refreshing to represent the reality of aging instead of pretending nothing's changed. Let's dance!

*Sally O'Malley (thanks Molly Shannon! See Sally Kick!)

  Anthea / Kawakib
- End of Post -