April Follies

This weekend Kurt and his dance partner will represent Diversity Dancesport in Oakland at the April Follies dance competition. Last year I joined them and took pictures (If you’d like you can watch some of the videos).

April Follies Group Shot

Being around the dance scene (and the memories it brought back) was bitter sweet. Suddenly, in my mind I was at my first dance competition getting ready to step on the floor.

Dreamy Readiness

In fact, however, I was watching that same expression of excitement and fear cross the faces of the dancers as they got ready to perform, knowing that I would never be able to be in their position again. No more  fidgeting with costumes, no more applying industrial quantities of product to ensure my hair didn’t move at all, and no more fake tanning: the Cheetoing Up that virtually all dancers do to look thinner, more muscled, and so judges can more easily distinguish their bare body parts from the pale color of the floorboards.

I was glad that trying to get good shots of all our fabulous dancers kept my mind occupied. It was between rounds, when I had time to process what was going on, that the sadness set in. Even though he was busy with his own dancing and helping the students, Kurt noticed I was down. He understood.

In the break before the evening program, I was able to download all the photos. I brought my computer with me to dinner so the dancers could see right away what they looked like on the floor. I remembered what it was like to have to wait for photos, and I knew how much it would mean to them. They were so happy!

Before the competition I told Kurt that I needed to go shopping to find a top to match my new vintage necklace. When I wore the necklace that night, one of the competitors complimented me on it. It felt like Kurt was behind it, and it made it all the more touching.

I ended up ditching the evening performances. It all became too much. I went back to the hotel and went to their tiny little gym and rode that elliptical until all the frustration was worked out. I felt so much better after that.

Although overall my trip memories are positive, I couldn’t go again this year. My wish to all the dancers is that they are able to do their best and be in the moment. (I’m sorry but I refuse to tell a dancer to “break a leg”, which is traditional, but sounds too tragic … and possible!)

Have you ever had a time when you discovered that you really can’t go home again? or Has anyone ever seen a fake tan that looked natural?

6 thoughts on “April Follies”

  1. Lovely post. I used to try to ‘go home again’ by visiting all my favourite spots back home and taking my family and trying to show them the same experiences… but no, every time I left feeling something was missing. I have finally realised I was trying to go home to a time, not a place. Now I just take every experience as a new one, unique in itself and I enjoy it all much more!

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    1. What you said is so true: We are trying to go back in time not space. No wonder it doesn’t work!

      I will take your advice and appreciate each experience as a new one.

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  2. What a great story. It must be strange to look in on those dancers and think that you can’t be where they are again. Be thankful though that you have those memories.

    One thing that came to mind while I was reading this is when I think back to my college days. I had so many friends and stayed up all night and drank and partied. Recently I thought to myself that even if I were to go back to college somehow, I wouldn’t have that experience again. It’s in the past and I’m older now. It’s strange to think that there’s a time in your life that you can’t get back even if you wanted to get it back. But no matter what, I’m always grateful for the time I spent there. The memories will always be with me.

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    1. I am very glad that I have my dancing memories – and the pictures and video!

      I like how you look back at the past and appreciate it for what it was and who you were. That is what memories should do for us … that and let us write posts about embarrassing moments!

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  3. Ah Tammy – I can so understand your pain. It is the down side of aging. Some things our bodies just won’t do anymore. And so we learn to be thankful for them, for all the joy and delight they’ve given us, for all that they’ve born – and for their grace and fragility as we age. We take of them. It was so nice that you went and took pictures for them, especially knowing the thrill it would be for them to see. I think it’s probably just still too raw.

    Cheetoing up? I had to smile at the term. Yes – I’ve actually seen fake tans that looked real – I guess. However, if they were fake and they looked real – maybe they were real. Or how would I have known? Very deep questions to ponder – along with the origin of the universe…….;)

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    1. Ah Barb, you so get me! You put so much wisdom in your response. Thank you for knowing what I needed to hear. It was definitely too soon for me to be around dance. I know that eventually I will get to where I appreciate my body for what it still can do for me. Going forward it will have to be a much more mutually beneficial relationship between me and my vessel.

      I loved how you described our aging bodies as having “grace.” What a beautiful way of viewing the changes that we all experience. Accepting rather than fighting the inevitable can add tremendously to that grace.

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