Saturday, November 28, 2009

SYTYCD Breaks My Heart

If you've been here awhile you know that what I wanted to do with my life was dance. I wanted to be a dancer but the Army got in my way.

Dance was my life. All through jr. high and high school, I was all dance all the time. It was my sanity and my salvation. It got me away from my crazy family and took me out of my head. I had Very Bad Things when I was little and I carried pain within me that I couldn't shake. Except when I was moving. So I never stopped moving.

I'd be in my room, dancing. Once I got a car, I'd go to the high school. My school had a really great football stadium. I'd grab my boom box and some tapes and I'd be in that stadium at all hours. 3 in the afternoon, 10 at night, 2 in the morning. Practice, practice, practice, choreograph, choreograph, or just turn on the music and let go. I'd be there to escape and to take flight.

When I went to college, I was a Dance Major. My plan was to go to New York, be on Broadway for 5-10 years then become a choreographer (either in New York or L.A.). When I came back from the Army and discovered I couldn't dance anymore, I went home from that class, crawled into bed and didn't leave for three days. When I finally did get out of bed, I joined the Army for real (up to that point, I was only in the Reserves) and told them I'd only join if I could go overseas. I went to Germany.

Being a professional Dancer didn't happen for me. And it's OK. I didn't get the amazing life I wanted so I went and made a different and equally amazing life. When I realized I would never dance professionally, I made a thick callus and put it over that broken part of my heart. Dancing ceased being a passion for me and became merely a social thing where it drifted into the background of my life.

I watch dance whenever I get the chance. I missed the first few seasons of So You Think You Can Dance (SYTYCD) because that judge named Mary gets on my damn nerves. Can that woman say anything without shrieking it? Stop yelling already!

But I watch it now. And no one else in my house cares about it so I watch it by myself. It's just as well because often, I get caught off guard by a particularly good dancer or a particularly amazing choreographer and I cry. Those stupid little broken bits under that callus rub together like broken glass under my ruined feet and I cry.

This routine completely did me in. The premise of this routine is the boy represents the fear and the girl is trying to free herself from her fears.

Routines like that make my feet and my heart ache like I imagine an amputee feels ghost pain in a missing limb.

I miss flying, Ruth!


Anonymous said...

There is nothing quite like dancing full out.

Yarnhog said...

I loved that routine! We've been watching the show for years, but we always keep the mute button ready for Mary Murphy. She bugs the crap out of me.

Why couldn't you dance anymore?

5elementknitr said...

Click on the army link for the whole story but the short story is this:

In Basic Training, the Army gave me boots that were a half size too small and told me they'd stretch. They didn't, they just caused nerve damage in my feet.