Slaying Dragons in 2013

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This is my first blog post in… a long time.

If you are like me, you decided to kick 2013 off with about eleventy new years resolutions. One of those is to blog more often (good luck with that). Another is to slay dragons. My first dragon is named CHOREOGRAFEAR, and he has impenetrable scales, sharp talons, and breathes fire. He has been living in a dark cave in my heart for awhile now, and I don’t want to fear him any more.

To slay this dragon I decided to use my favorite weapon: acting class.

Lucky for me, last night was a “fantasy night” where each student gets the time and space to nurture a part of their creative self that doesn’t get enough love… or… to slay their dragons. In front of 20 actors, writers, and directors, I chose… to tackle my fear of choreographing.

First, on a big blue pasteboard, I made a list of things that keep me from choreographing.

1.) I don’t know what to say.
2.) I am afraid it has already been said or done.
3.) It is HARD.

Then, I negated those points with the following responses:

1.) Say ANYTHING!
2.) No. It hasn’t been said BY ME… (yet)
3.) (this is a tough one) So is life, GET OVER IT!

Once I had abolished my fears and insecurities on paper, I had no choice but to open up iTunes and DO IT.

I walked around the space with both middle fingers up in frustration. I started and re-started the music repeatedly to find the exact sound that inspired me. I settled into that sound, that rhythm… and then, it happened. I lifted my right leg, swung it around and dropped my weight on my heel. I shifted my weight to my toe. I swung my arms at my sides and they carried me to the wall. I was surprised to find it so close to my face, so I looked at it for a while before I pushed myself away. I repeated that phrase several times, embellishing it differently each time. One time, after I pushed myself away from the wall, I didn’t stop going… I danced for the rest of the song. Then I looked up at my classmates, and asked if any of them remembered the steps I had just done.

That’s when I learned that actors don’t make great choreographers assistants.

I also learned that I have plenty to say, I must say it, and starting is the hardest part about choreographing (and most things).

Today, I started 4 new combinations. They are short. I might not use them. I don’t even know if I like them. But because I practiced starting, today, I am that much closer to slaying my dragon.

What keeps you from slaying your dragon?

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There is not another person I could think of that would be better and more entertaining to put on a show about how dance revolves around life. You'll break a leg watching!!"
-Joey Dowling