Weekday mornings I wake after the third snooze of the alarm to put on black slacks with a low heel and an employee badge that I swipe for access to my cubicle. Most evenings I’ll take yoga or try to cook something new and watch too many episodes of Orange is the New Black. But other nights I rush home after work, jump into loose sweats & sneakers, cram some carbs into my mouth, and fly out the door with a water bottle.
Because we have a show coming up.
Ever since moving to Los Angeles I’ve taken hip hop classes and while I never had the guts to pursue a full-time professional dancing career, I also haven’t been able to stop dancing. Not that I’ve tried to stop. Los Angeles is truly a mecca for both hip hop dance and superstar dreams so taking incredible classes for any experience level or style is easy. I take class weekly.
I’m in my 30s and I’ve watched a lot of things come and go in life—jobs, friendships, cities, boyfriends—but dancing is one of those things that just stays. I’ve made some beautiful friendships with other dancers who also have nine-to-five careers outside of the dance studio and we joke about our moonlighting. Their Clark Kents are an HR manager, a property manager, a television talent coordinator, an ad agency creative. I think they share the same fire for dance, and really, at what point do you admit that this thing you keep referring to as your hobby is really one of the few true loves of your life?
Rehearsals mean late nights and exhaustion and tweaking and critiquing and an acute, uncontrollable goofiness that kicks in after about the third consecutive hour of running the routine over and over. There are also moments of spontaneous beauty.
I could try to tell you about how I feel like I can fly right before taking the stage, but a very clear moment of gratitude hit during rehearsal, in fact, when I realized that this whole behind-the-curtain process has such magic in it. The work behind it all and the passion & sweat we each put into making someone’s vision real…it feels so good. All of it.
I don’t enjoy noticing that it seems I’m now the oldest, or one of the oldest, and my choreographer nearly a decade younger. A voice in my head was warning that my last performances are closing in, but then I laughed at this nonsense because my heart knows I’ll dance forever because dance just stays.
And now, time for bed. Gotta get up for work tomorrow.