Stage Fright

303 Vodka is throwing a Cinco de Burlesqueo party this weekend and invited Boulder Spirals to participate. I was having one of those Woohoo-sure-why-not! days when one of the organizers posted an invitation to perform on the Boulder Spirals Instructor’s Facebook page, so I threw in my hat. At first I was super nonchalant about it, like, “Sure, I’ll do it. I’ll just put on some music, do a few body waves and see what happens.” Then before class last Thursday I showed up to find several other instructors practicing on the X-stage, a portable stage that has a wide heavy base and a freestanding pole. They were …. practicing … I guess that means I should practice, too?

Suddenly throwing caution to the wind didn’t seem like such a good idea.

Neither did bowing out. I begged off this month’s showcase because EVERYTHING IN THE WORLD IS HAPPENING ON THAT DAY. I’m serious. My folks are in town. It’s my husband’s birthday. I have to attend a fundraiser for my son’s school that day. I’m running a 10k the next morning and throwing my other son’s birthday party afterwards. Seriously, it sucks. Sasha was pretty understanding but I have a feeling that if I played the overwhelmed mom card again so soon, she’d question my commitment. Frankly, so would I. So let’s get down to it.

Step 1: Pick music. Being a festive Mexican independence event, I chose Latin Simone by the Gorillaz because it is in Spanish. More about that later.

Step 2: Then I spent about four hours on Youtube watching every beginning/intermediate routine I could find. Given that the X-stage is freestanding and really wobbly (as in it looks like a “pole fail” video just waiting to happen), I’m not climbing up that thing. I’ve also yet to fully get my sweaty palms under control.

Step 3: I wrote down a bunch of moves I liked, building some theoretical combos on paper. I took it to the pole and quickly discovered what works and what doesn’t. You know what doesn’t work? Picking a song in a foreign language. Why? Because it’s really hard to use the words as cues when they all are meaningless. Well it’s too late to change my song now.

Step 4: I edited my list and printed it in big, bold letters and taped it to the wall facing my pole and started to drill, drill, drill. I more or less figured out some musical cues and am getting a sense for timing. I think the big challenge will be to go slow and sensual rather than speeding through it. Did I mention that one of the main criterion for the song is that it is short?

I posted some of my anxieties on Facebook and my friends really came through for me, giving me a little boost of encouragement. Imagine how psyched I was when MY PERSONAL HERO Dirdy Birdy posted some advice. I felt touched by greatness.

So from now until Saturday night I am going to eat, breath and sleep this routine. I’m going to keep it on my pillow when I go to bed. I’m taking it into the can with me so I can go over it while I’m, well, going. I’m sure it will be anxiety dreams galore between now and Saturday. Although this has me rather scared to go to sleep (Oh please not the one with my teeth falling out while in a filthy public bathroom and I’m walking with a limp and have 15 minutes to pack and get to the airport and on a plane and I can’t find my fucking cat anywhere!) It should make for fun reading for those who like to wallow in my sub-conscious. With that, I better get back to practicing.

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