Friday, November 5, 2010

new dance/no bootstraps

i've been dancing at the gym.
at certain times of the day the aerobics room is empty and open. its full of mirrors and large expanses of wooden flooring and its like stepping into an old skin when i go in there. The vast space begs to be filled with movement and muscles making beautiful things happen.

my life as a dancer began when i was 3. but over the past decade its become sparse.very sparse.

in my early 30's dance classes became too inaccessible to attend. the impact and recovery factor too great.

so nowadays i go solo. i dance in my living room, or in a garage, on a lawn
or at a gym with an empty aerobics room.

and today while marked and messed my way thru some random choreoghraphy, i felt very tired. so so tired. like lead in my veins kinda tired. aware that i'm a soon to be 40 yr old outta practice chronically ill dancer. I'm the dancer that at that this point in life should be choreographing and teaching younger dancers. I think of the director of the dance co. i was in when i was 20, how she'd teach class with a heating pad strapped to her back, trailing around an extension cord, waving her arms and shouting instruction.

 I've got a thigh muscle thats like twine and won't stretch. just feels like wood thats gonna snap. I'm dizzy, lethargic, my back hurts....frustrated that i can't do the steps i want to do . can't bring to life the dance in my mind. my body is not gonna do it. not like it used to.

so i'm home now with my heating pad thinking hard about dance and the able body. how does dance exist outside of some sort of relative able bodiedness. i can't move like i could 20 years ago. so how do i own how i move now and call that the dance i need.
crips dance all the time.
i know this.

feels  like yet another life lesson in tackling internalized ableism.
just another milestone of letting go. my life of letting go, balancing the acceptance of change with the need to understand and resist the systems that want me to disappear...
the lure to call it -only- loss.
all the things i was supposed to "be", and dancer was one of them. how my brain and body just couldn't keep it up. school, work, dance and that fire under my ass screaming hustle girl! be the best! theres no safety net.
no safety net.
my political critical analytical brain whispers capitalism, ableism, class but beneath it all is the subtle defeat.
the moving , once again, of the goalposts of my life.
this always slightly humiliating effort to be ok with who i am. what i am. aware of the blasphemy of those words since theres nothing necessarily righteous, radical or defiantly self loving in them.
theres no well timed poetic uplifting message in all of this. no bootstrap revolutionary lullabye.
just disability and poverty and yes, loss and how the up moments are still about ability.
seductive  individual   ability.


Anonymous said...

hiya, i've been wondering about you. i have the same phone #; could we have a call in a week? you may know that someone w/the axis company does a great blog, lots about dance and ability... --i hear you on moving goalposts. i'm glad there's still gym studio for you to go into. love, seeley

ambrose said...

hey you...i don't think i have that number. do you have mine??? or can you send me yours at my reg. email? i'd love ove love a call to catch up. yeah. xo