For the past two months, I was taking a dance class in preparation for a performance. There were 10 women in the class, and the performance was solo movement but with a group choreography. We performed recently and did very well.
There were a few mistakes. A couple of us missed some of the steps, but overall, the performance was really good.
I remembered almost everything. I really only forgot how to angle myself in relation to the audience at a couple of points.
But immediately after the performance, while the adrenaline was still coursing through me, I was very happy with the performance. It looked good; it was a high energy performance; it was a fun group of women to perform with.
We performed at a social dance event during the band breaks. So before and after the performance, I was dressed up and dancing with friends.
I even made sure to ask New Teacher dance. Last year, at this event, I was too afraid to do that. It was a good dance with New Teacher. I was relaxed and just having fun. I didn’t let any doubt creep in while I was dancing with him. There was a point or two in dancing with him that I wondered if I misunderstood his lead, but I shrugged it off and just kept dancing. I felt really good during that song, and New Teacher said it was really nice at the end. I’m sure it was professional courtesy on his part, but it was also, I think, sincere because I heard a bit of pleasant surprise in his voice. Anyway, I took it as a compliment and just added it to the reasons I was feeling good that night.
The teacher for our performance was talking to one of the singers from the band at a different time in the night. The singer was cute, and I noticed, and I noticed that I noticed. I usually walk around never expecting anything to happen romantically for me, so to even notice someone is progress for me.
I went home feeling really good. It sort of felt like I conquered my dance insecurities that I got from Former Teacher. I was really happy with the night, calmly and confidently happy.
But by Sunday afternoon, all of that had rubbed off.
I watched the YouTube video of our performance. I didn’t like what I saw, and I really saw only two things.
1) My arms looked terrible in the performance. I had worked for the last month and even during our practice Saturday afternoon to make my arms look good, and then all of that went out of my head during the performance and they looked terrible.
2) I looked big, really big. I was really unhappy with how fat I looked.
This post isn’t about whether or not those things were true. That’s really not what is bothering me.
What’s bothering me is that I let those two thoughts steal my confidence. It took less than 24 hours for the high to wear off. It took less than 24 hours for me to shrink back in on myself.
And I don’t know why. I don’t know why I couldn’t keep the confidence. What makes it all go away that quickly? Why do I beat myself up over my appearance? Why can’t I do a better job with what I eat? Why do I still feel like I’m not a good enough dancer?
A little bit of the confidence is back today, but only a little bit.