2019: A Year In Review

So, in my effort to start blogging here more often, I figured I should treat this as an unofficial launch of my website. ‘Tis the season for self-review, so hey, what better way to establish a jumping-off point than to talk about where I’ve been over the past year?

Also, I may have totally gotten a little inspiration from reading Blogger on Pole today (10/10 would recommend, for the record). I can neither confirm nor deny.

So where are we beginning?

Some fast facts:

  • I recently wrapped up my master’s degree, which is like 90% of the reason why I have like zero social media presence and don’t post enough photos on my Instagram.
  • I broke up with my boyfriend in October, which was long overdue for various reasons I will probably never get into.
  • I have been taking aerial silks classes at Albuquerque Circus Arts for a little over a year now, which is pretty sweet.
  • I performed as a pole dancer for the first time in August. There’s no video, but it was during this performance that I did my first shoulder mount (and thus learned that adrenaline really does affect performances!).
  • Also performed on the silks for the first time in May, and there is very definitely video of that.
  • I joined Wicked Muse, a belly dance troupe here in Albuquerque, after about nine months of throwing myself back into dance classes.
My first pot balancing piece as a member of Wicked Muse!
My first pot balancing piece as a member of Wicked Muse!

By the numbers:

  • Performed in 18 shows (29 pieces total).
  • Choreographed 4 pieces.
  • Learned 6 other choreographies.
  • Took 2 workshops with out-of-town badasses (What up Jenyne Butterfly and Ebony Qualls!?).
  • Attended 45 aerial silks classes.
  • Took 73 belly dance classes.
  • Got a 4.0 GPA in my master’s (Totally had to brag here. Sorry not sorry).
  • And did got knows how many shimmies, pull-ups, and hollow body holds.

I also picked the piano back up (I’m not good at it and I likely never will be, but I enjoy it) and made actual art for the first time since I was forced to in high school (I’m not good at that, either, and I likely never will be – and I don’t particularly enjoy it).

And I ate a lot of M&Ms and drank a lot of Diet Dr Pepper (totally open to sponsorships, y’all).

Playing with light! Photo by Shannon Sweet.
Playing with light! Photo by Shannon Sweet.

The Big Picture

So where am I now?

I feel like a budding dancer coming into his own.

For the past couple months, I’ve been in a strange place emotionally. Between work stress, school stress, and The Breakup, I’ve kind of been on an emotional roller coaster and the turmoil is real, y’all. It takes a lot to admit this (and hell if I think this will make it past Editing Brice), but I haven’t been terribly okay in a very long time and I think a lot of me was trying to cover up that pain with overworking.

But one of my teachers, in her own grief, created a wonderful series of classes in which we learned a pretty, modern dance-y, emotional choreography to an incredibly healing song (Hello “Show Me” by Big Wild). In the process of learning the choreography, we also did a sort of emotional workshop. So the process wasn’t so much about learning movements or technique as it was about finding the emotional grounding to tell the story of the song.

And boy did I ever have plenty of emotions to turn to.

So we did the vulnerability thing, on stage. In the interest of capitalizing on the night, I also performed a solo along the same emotional level.

I think I danced as myself for the first time that night.

I’m sure I’ll talk about this more in a future post when I have a little more to say, but there’s something about expressing a huge shout into the void on stage in front of an audience that made me feel like I should do more of this.

So I’m here, I’m vulnerable, I’m open, I’m armed with ample free time and creative capacity, and I’m ready to start doing this thing.

And tomorrow, I’ll talk about what I plan for This Thing to actually be.

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