Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Reflections: Unfamiliarity breeds consternation

While I should be embracing new faces for a dance scene that is expanding quickly, namely West Coast Swing, I found myself quite terrified of the exploded class size due to the upcoming Swingvitation event happening in April this year. I know I should be embracing change, but this is still quite a shock from the previous familiar faces that I'm used to seeing every Wednesday for my WCS dance class.

There's the phrase that goes like this, "familiarity breeds contempt." This is true only to a certain extent. It's actually comforting to be around familiar faces and doing familiar patterns. The contemptuous feeling comes from repeating the same stuff over and over, but I trust my teachers and classmates enough to know that this is a suitable speed of progression for their and my dance ability. For one, I still have many bad habits to get rid of, and one of the major ones are the way I walk, and another is the way I anchor: it still feels too heavy for the lead, but I managed to find the root in which this bad habit stems. It's mainly because I fear losing the connection that I feel the need to pull tightly on the lead's hand. Hence my teacher subtly teases and said that people like me anchor to make a statement like, "I'm here, I'm anchoring goddamnit!"

Anyways, having new people in the classroom threw me off guard, and the range of skill between classmates varied greatly, perhaps they had different schools of thought and thus their lead felt really different from normal. I'm also talking about people I don't see on the social dance floor too. I only recognised one out of the strangers whom I have danced on socials, and the rest were completely unfamiliar to me. It is also in dancing with people that I find out a few traits that I get particularly pedantic about with a partner: respect for proximity, and sense of tempo. These two things I look out for is mainly because of how I was nurtured dance wise and lifestyle wise. I am thankful of the presence of the regular goers that I've formed great friendships with, and knowing how we grew together eased my anxiety in the classroom.

I feel that my shyness is creeping in face of the strangers I see in class, but I hope that I can resolve my fears soon so that I can enjoy my west coast swing classes again.

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