Daring to Dance

A while ago I saw an audition invitation for Le Grand Continental, a dance piece to be performed at the Luminato Festival here in Toronto. With the tag line, “If you’re a dancer at heart – or just want to be – WE WANT YOU!” I knew it was something I’d love to be involved in – but could I do it? It’s been quite a while since I’ve done anything other than dance around the house or play Just Dance!  And, despite my time at the gym, my sedentary days as an online entrepreneur have taken their physical toll, something I’ve been working on changing. Could this be just the motivation I need? A fun way to reawaken my inner dancer and get me moving? What would it be like to go to a dance audition at my age and stage? I guessed it would be two things: uncomfortable and exciting – a combination I try to say yes to!

So I did what I often do when faced with an enticing and intimidating adventure: I didn’t think, I just said signed up and said yes.

This is the audition piece that I learned and performed as well.

On the day before the audition, I came down with a bad cold, but something in me knew I had to be there.  Again, I didn’t think too much. Instead, I got the best night’s sleep I could, ate a nourishing meal, put on an outfit that I could move in and that felt like me and headed down to the space.

I walked in with an open mind and heart, deciding that whatever happened, the audition in and of itself would be an amazing adventure.  I mean, here it was a Monday night and instead of nursing my cold at home I was out at a dance audition!

Could it all go horribly wrong? Absolutely.

Would I feel uncomfortable, embarrassed and incapable? Quite likely.

Might I feel engaged, alive and brave? Unequivocally!

Might it open the door to something amazing? It just might!

So, with my tummy tingling and my head stuffed, I showed up. I was delighted to find that both the production people and the other aspiring dancers were generally friendly and kind. For the first 10 to 20 minutes, I felt good. As I followed the moves and grooved to the tunes I thought, “This is fun! I can do this!”

Then, at some point, there seemed to be way too much to remember and some slick, quick head turns had the room spinning and I thought, “Whoa… what was I thinking? I can’t do this! I should call it quits. I mean, this is just a short segment – the show is going to be 30 minutes!”

In other words, I felt certain I wasn’t ready for a 30-minute dance piece!

The good news is that I didn’t have to be.

In this moment, I only had to be ready to audition.

I had to be ready to say yes to this moment, to commit, to show up as I was and give all I had.  That is all.

This is how all great adventures begin. We aren’t ready. We don’t know where we’re going and we don’t know if we have what it takes to get there. The truth is, we probably don’t.

We’ll have to learn along the way. We’ll have to get stronger. We’ll have to make allies. We’ll fall. We’ll fail. And we’ll get up and we’ll get up again. We’ll laugh and we’ll doubt. We’ll surprise ourselves and one another. We’ll find we are more than we thought we were and we’ll do more than we thought we could. We’ll be amazed and amazing. We will be transformed. And, we will have stories to tell.

That is why I knew that no matter what happened, it would be worth it. I would be able to say with truth and conviction that I am a woman who said yes, who showed up, who braved the uncomfortable and stretched into the unknown.

Happily, in this instance, I’m also the woman, who got the part!