My Own Place In It All

So I was talking with Diana tonight after everyone left the studio, and one thing she mentioned was that if it weren’t for the studio, she would *never* choose to live here. The weather is really hard on her (she’s from San Diego, she’s a total sun goddess). I said that, selfishly, I was really glad that she was here – because for all that I love dance, it would not be the same without Studio One and without *her* in particular. She then said that I would eventually find my own place in it all, separate from my bond with her – which got me thinking about that bond and everything that feeds it and stems from it.

I didn’t get this kind of emotional reaction when I was dancing at CCC, nor at Vega. I think that it’s related to how intertwined everything is in my life. When I dance, it’s not “just” about dance – it’s also about my body image issues, my eating disorders, my safety and security issues, my ridiculously fragile ego and self-esteem… I can’t separate things out right now. It’s fun, when your own parents can’t be trusted and cross the line to abuse, it messes everything up – including leaving you all crazy needy, making it very hard to maintain friendships. I’m still impressed with how Diana managed to reset boundaries with me, *without* me freaking out and trying to hide. Well, I guess I did try – but she didn’t let me. And I love that. And that’s another long story that I won’t get into right now.

When kids have a secure family life, they can be brave and excited and explore the world. And I kind of feel like I’m making up for that with the studio now. She’s been willing to work with me even when my finances are bad, which means that I can at lest rely on being able to be there. It’s hard having had Kaitlyn leave – but I know that Diana and Rose will be around for the long haul. And most of all, I *know*, bone-deep, soul-deep, that I can trust Diana. The list of people I can say that about is amazingly short. Having that level of trust gives me the freedom to open up, to try, to experiment with stuff and be at least less terrified. At the start of this term, Diana asked me to demonstrate fouette turns in front of the class. I haven’t done a successful fouette turn since I was about 19 years old. Honestly, if Kaitlyn had asked me to demonstrate fouette turns (which would never have happened, but that’s a whole other story), I probably would have fallen apart, because no matter how much I loved her, I didn’t have that same kind of trust. With Diana, yeah I made a face, and had a moment of desperately wanting to hide – but I took a breath, and I tried it, and it actually *happened*! Which is still mind-boggling to me. And having had it work out gives me a base to be a little more willing to try again next time, you know? Baby steps. And I suspect that eventually, enough of these baby steps will pile up that I won’t get all freaked out and withdraw when there’s a new teacher being interviewed. Or when someone says something that sounds like it could apply to someone with no dance background, and I get all crazy self conscious about whether my technique looks *that* bad. Or whatever. And I’m betting that that’s what she meant by eventually finding my own place in it all – but me being me, I suspect that it wouldn’t happen, or would happen a LOT more slowly, if I didn’t have someone I could connect with and trust on this level.

Maybe I’ll finally get a chance to rebuild some of the trust and security that my mother so carelessly destroyed. Wouldn’t that be something?


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