p>A few weeks ago I had to take Buddy and Bug with me to a rehearsal. It was the night we learned the Cop Song choreography. The boys had been to enough rehearsals with me to know that they are to be quiet and stay out of the way and they did those things perfectly!
I had a tough time learning the dance, per my usual. Not the usual was leaving a rehearsal with my kids. Normally I keep my tears at bay until I get to the car. If it’s dark, I sometimes let ’em roll in the parking lot. Having the boys there put a kink in that.
Not to sound snotty but I’m good at a lot of things and with out trying or lessons. I think that is one of my big hang ups with dancing. I want to do it so badly and I want to be good at it but it’s just not a talent of mine. Doing something that I’m not good at is scary for me. The People Pleaser in me fears letting others down. There’s also a pride issue. I hate to look like a fool and I look pretty foolish when dancing! If I mess up when I’m singing I think, “whatever, I know I can do it. That was an off moment.” When I mess up dancing I’m not sure if I’ll ever get it right because I never have.
So there I was, with my impressionable sons, feeling “humiliations galore.” I needed to walk out with the right attitude and spirit so they could maybe glean from it themselves one day.
As I put on my street shoes and gathered my things I tried to put a cap on how awful I felt.
“I really liked that song, Mom!” said Buddy.
“Yeah! It’s really funny!” added Bug.
“Yep. It’s one of my favorites,” I answered tersely because I could tell I was about to cry.
“How’d you do?” Buddy asked.
*sigh* “Um…not so great but…I’ll get it. Eventually.”
“I thought you did great! Was it your best?” Buddy asked throwing my own words back at me that I ask him after basketball practices.
“Yes. I tried my best.”
We drove the 45 minutes home, I put them to bed and then I bawled in the shower.
All week I practiced all of the choreography to all the different numbers. At home alone, I still get frustrated but the embarrassment factor is not there to hinder me. Every week I practice at home but once I get to rehearsal I either forget things or find out I’ve practiced it wrong or the choreography is changed….very frustrating. But that’s the gig. I’ve never done a show where the experience has been otherwise. Well…maybe Sound of Music but the nuns didn’t do much dancing. Not on stage anyway. 😉
The choreographer encouraged me after a rehearsal one night and said, “You can’t see the people behind you who are struggling too.”
One day before my At Home Practice, I decided to just watch the video. I didn’t watch myself (gads!) and I didn’t watch the two dancers in the front who always get it right. This time I watched everyone else. Not a single person did the dances with out mistakes. They all looked a mess for parts here and there.
I practiced while the kids were at school and I’d practice in my kitchen while cooking dinner. My iPod would play the music, I’d sing along and then…DANCE BREAK! One night I was determined to conquer the Cop Song. It’s not hard moves just really fast. Buddy and Bug were at the kitchen table doing their homework and I was using the window behind them as a mirror so I could see myself dance.
I stifled a lot of cussing with Arrgh’s! and Biscuits! I had a low moment and kicked the dishwasher…. I would get it right or almost right but the next time I’d do it and get it wrong. I’d do it again and finally I did it and it was a solid and genuine success! Even Bug could tell.
“You did it mom!”
“I did! Weee! I need to do it right more than once though. It needs to be right every time I do it. If I can get it right 3 times in a row then I’ll know I’ve got it.”
“No. I think you have to do it 5 times in a row.”
“Five times? Really Bug?”
“Yep. Five times’ the test.”
I took his little challenge. If I’d had my way I would have gotten it right 3 times in a row and quit. With his way I got it right 3 times, messed up twice, right twice, wrong once and then finally…5 times right. Whew!
“Man! I just love that song!” said Bug.
“Yeah,” I panted, “me too.”
One of the fun things about doing a show is the effect it has on the kids. I hear them singing show tunes in the shower or while they are doing their chores. It gets their creative juices going too.
“Buddy, if they ever make Lord Of The Rings into a musical, I’m going to audition for Gimli,” Bug said to Buddy.
“There’s no way they can condense an EPIC into a musical,” Buddy said. Always so practical.
Saturday a.m. I rehearsed my choreography and music and then readied myself for the Cupid’s Undie Run. (I’ll blog about that later. A mile run in your underwear through the streets of Downtown Denver.)
Sunday morning I woke up sore. Sad! Ran a mile and my whole body hurt! I spent some time with the family, ran through all of my choreography again and then headed to rehearsal. I went in a little early to try and get some extra help with a couple of the longer dances that I’m having a hard time mastering in the kitchen.
I still need a lot of polish and there are still two more numbers to block and choreograph but I felt really good about what I gave last night. I tried not to cringe while watching myself in the mirror. Now the problem isn’t that I don’t know the dance but that my lines are ugly or just what it takes for me to get from one move to the next doesn’t look as effortless as it does for the other dancers. I kind of look like a Gummy Bear…bouncy and round instead of fluid and lean.
Despite my best efforts I still felt far behind at the end of the night. Closer but behind.
I bemoaned this fact to one of the other dancers and she pointed out to me that I had a lot of the dances under my belt and was even able to help some of our other cast-mates who weren’t sure of the dance.
So I guess I’m doing better than I thought! I’ll keep working on it at home. Not today though. I’m too sore from running and dancing all weekend.