Sunday, February 10, 2013


Second post of the night - but more thoughts about engaging with my body and physicality and movement coming out of mindfulness, since one of the exercises we do is a body scan. I've devoted this evening to self-care, and out of self-care comes thinking, and out of thinking comes blogging.

After being asked the other day whether I enjoy dancing, I've given some thought to it. I've been uncomfortable for years with dancing, since I'm clumsy and self-conscious. Ballet teachers as a child had little to say to me that was positive, and I stopped dancing unless required to for some reason by the time I was about 10 years old. Dancing became something that was forced out of me, and an activity in which my control over my body was taken away from me. It was something exposing, and where I was almost invariably criticized and made to feel uncomfortable.

I danced willingly when I was 17, at camp, and enjoyed it, being in a very safe space and knowing that I was not being looked at. I've danced willingly at some queer and feminist events, when the vibe is right and where safe space is very engrained. These days, I dance only in specific situations. I have to feel very safe to willingly do so. There is something too sensual about it, and it draws attention to my body and how I move, and dance seems to always have an implication of sexuality which is often discomforting. I find it exposing and it makes me vulnerable. Sometimes, I dance anyways, even though I don't feel comfortable, because it draws more attention to me if I am on the sidelines.

The image here is something I made as a backdrop for a university production of the Vagina Monologues in 2008. It was my attempt at a self portrait. I am still quite attached to it.
These Scars Cannot Stop Me From Dancing

At around the same time as I drew this, I was on a Melissa Etheridge kick and listened on repeat to her "Dance Without Sleeping" quite regularly.

I danced at a conference last weekend (it's the sort of conference where one dances). I felt very uncomfortable at first, particularly being sober when most others were drunk. Even when someone drunkenly groped me, I kept dancing and did not leave. I was proud. I will never be a dancer, but I will still dance. I will probably not dance well, but I will dance without fear. Here is a new goal, a new mantra.

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