I Hate It When I Disappoint Myself

Northside Tribe spent the last several months preparing for our big student show, Bellies for Babies, in collaboration with Jahara Phoenix dance troupe and Sherar, their student troupe. Saturday night, July 12, all three troupes took over the Dancing Goats Theater in John’s Creek to benefit the March of Dimes.

Bellies For Babies 2014 Cast
Bellies For Babies 2014 Cast

I performed in three group numbers — two of our troupe’s choreographies, the Jedi Saidi to the Star Wars “Cantina” song and our new “Shashkin” tribute to John Compton and Hahbi ’Ru, plus our first ever troupe ATS® performance. With trepidation, I agreed to perform a solo by polishing up the improv I did at the Glow Dance Studios open house a few months earlier to Dinletir’s “Ice Queen.”

I had plenty of time to prepare, and faithfully attended classes and rehearsals. I constantly listened to the music and ran through choreography in my head, but I kept putting off practicing at home because other stuff just seemed to get in the way. I figured I’d “clear the decks,” so to speak, for the week before the show and really focus on run-throughs and polishing. You know, however, that the best laid plans go astray? Sure enough, they did. Saturday night a week before the show I realized at bedtime that I had what felt like a bad case of indigestion, with pain right under my diaphragm. I figured I’d just go to sleep and it would pass. It didn’t. It spread around to my mid-back and just got worse and worse through the night. I haven’t been in that much pain since I was in labor! I got no sleep because of it, and was at urgent care when they opened Sunday morning. Not that they could find anything specific wrong, so the doctor suggested Zantac, Nexium, and Gas-X and said if it got worse contact my own doctor.

Well, it wiped me out for all of Sunday & Monday. I begged out of Monday’s rehearsal for solos. Tuesday I felt better but going to work wore me out. Wednesday I had a second, milder attack. By Thursday night I could make it to rehearsal, but was way under par. Things weren’t much better for Friday night’s dress rehearsal, either. Adding insult to injury, my stomach was so touchy all week that I could not eat very much, so I had no energy anyway.

Saturday afternoon came. I and all my paraphernalia got to the theater, with me still sewing madly on the bra for my costume up until intermission. Then tech rehearsal, dress and makeup, and it was SHOWTIME.

Well, I did not bring my A game for this show. I did not bring my B game for this show. I’m not even sure I brought my C game. I had a very visible (I saw the video :p) brain fart on “Cantina,” even though I’ve performed that choreography, with the same partner, several times. I was okay, I think, for our ATS® number even though it wasn’t terribly polished (especially compared to the other two groups’ renditions of it). With “Shashkin,” I screwed up the part that has almost always given me trouble, a part which I should have down by now.  So I wasn’t prepared enough for any of the group numbers, which upsets me because it lets my fellow dancers down.

As for my solo, calling it a “hot mess” would probably be kind. Gary and Andrea both told me I did well, but they are biased…and no one else has said a word about it to me. *I* know it wasn’t up to standard. *I* know I didn’t put enough work into it. The picture below is fine, but I am praying that there is no video of it anywhere out there, or if there is that the person who took it will erase it unseen and never, ever tell me they took it.

Bellies For Babies Solo Performance 2014
Bellies For Babies Solo Performance 2014

So yeah, I screwed up. Big time. And I have to own it, and admit responsibility. I feel embarrassed by my own performance, or lack thereof, but far more I feel humiliated for letting my teacher and my troupe mates down by not giving it my very best effort. Getting sick the week before the show isn’t a good excuse, either. If I’d been decently prepared before I got sick I might not have been at peak level, but I would have been okay. (Any of you who saw this show and are reading this, it is not necessary to tell me my performance was fine. *I* know it wasn’t so you being kind and saying it was won’t make me feel any better. Honest critique is far more useful anyway.) To my troupe mates, especially Mary and Jeanette, and to Lacy, I’m sorry. I will do better in the future.

All I can do is learn from this. Don’t ignore actual practice time no matter what!!! Maybe improvisational choreography, at least solo, is not a good thing for me yet. Don’t leave things until the last minute (a lesson which I should apply to my entire damn life). Don’t be afraid to get feedback beforehand.

LEARN FROM THIS, DAMNIT.

One Comment

  1. Peggy Boylan

    I screwed up too, Without your good excuses. If you asked every dancer there, all would be able to tell you where they messed up Saturday night. Wrong steps, arm movements not smooth enough, etc. We are our own worst critics. The best thing to do is move on to the next dance. And remember, “If you stumble, make it a part of the dance”.

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