The choreographer counts steadily, and my mouth tightens with tension, because this isn’t my daughter’s dance class. Instead, it’s me trying to move in time with the music and not trip over myself. Now, as I continually stumble over my own feet, I begin having flashbacks to the first time I took a Body and Soul aerobics class and nearly walked out in tears because I felt so uncoordinated.
We take a break and I wonder, again, if I will figure out these dance steps in time for our show in April. When I first saw the announcement in January about a community theater group beginning in Blythewood, it sounded like a great opportunity for my husband and our six year old daughter. It was only on our way to the audition that, at my husband’s prompting, I considered trying out myself. My involvement in theater had been limited to high school, where I always worked behind the scenes, and church productions where I sang in the choir and the choreography was never more complicated than moving from the choir loft to the sanctuary aisles.
Our audition had been successful, and we all joined the cast of the Blythewood Community Theatre’s production of “Hello, Dolly!” My husband has a speaking role, and all three of us are in the ensemble, which I knew would mean a lot of singing. But I did not realize how much we had to dance! I am not a dancer.
Let me say that again. I am not a dancer. At all.
As I take a sip of water, though, I reflect on that moment with the aerobics class. I stuck it out and actually learned the steps to the routines we did. In fact, I liked it so much I went back year after year. And being in this production has a lot of other positive aspects to it. We are doing something as a family. We are exploring what it was like to be on the production side of theater, something we have talked about for a long time. We are meeting some great people and building new friendships with other cast members.
And for me, it has been a chance to step outside my comfort zone and try out something new, which I haven’t done in a while. I’ve been quite comfortable lately in my roles as wife, mom, teacher, writer, and church volunteer. Those are my strengths. Being on stage, especially dancing, is not my strength. It is stretching me in new ways, and while it is not always comfortable, it is forcing me to grow – not only as a performer, but as a person, as I let go of some expectations of myself and learn how to loosen up and laugh at some of my missteps.
Break is over and we try the routine again – and I get it this time! No guarantees for the next time, but I have a glimmer of hope that by April 2, I will be able to pull this off and enjoy myself in the process.
Look, I’m dancing!!
“Hello, Dolly!” will run from April 2 to April 5 at 7:30 p.m. and April 6 at 3:00. It will appear on the Westwood High School stage in Blythewood. Tickets are available at the door or online at http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/610036. For more information, contact Blythewood Community Theater at 803-422-6885 or via e-mail at [email protected]
Have you ever felt “stuck” in your role as mom? What is something new you have tried to expand your world?