EDITION 10: Dance Like Ain't Nobody Watching

Last week I went to a women’s dance temple. I’d been bloody well avoiding that dance temple ever since I arrived in Ubud. Why? Because the women here have spines like snakes and bodies like water… and me? My dance career goes as far as skanking in grimey drum and bass raves high as a kite on ecstasy. Plus, this one time, when I was 5, I went to my first ballet class and outrightly refused to go back again. I mean, all the other girls were wearing pink tutu’s. My tutu hadn’t arrived yet, and I felt very insecure about that indeed. So much so, that when I was invited to tiptoe into the centre of the dance circle and do a “move” I believe is referred to as a “plié”, I tripped over and stumbled onto the floor. As you can imagine that was v.v.v.v.v.v.v x 100 humiliating for 5 year old me.

At some point in my teenz I somehow found myself in stage school. This was a place that included regular acting, singing and of course, the dreaded DANCE. Let me tell you, I can totz belt out a tune, and am a very fine actress, but give me a choreographed dance routine and my mind fogs over in panic. On one occasion during the my least fav part of stage school aka DANCE, the entire dance ‘team’ were flowing gracefully together, meanwhile, I’m there flailing my arms around like a malfunctioning, out of beat, windmill.

After all this young turbulence, dancing whilst not inebriated was basically impossible. Going to  soberly dance with a room full of sober people was an action I’d avoid at all costs.

Due to this ongoing dance terror, if ever faced with any kind professional dancer (apart from my dear friend Alice) I’d immediately get my guard up, and assume they’d have a good ol’ laugh if they should ever see me bust a move on the dance floor.

Yet, somewhere along the line, cruising this thing called life, something fun began to shift.

I began to a. not give as much as a fuck about what other people think (although I totz am not immune to having a worry)

+ b. accept that this body right here is mine, it won’t be changing drastically, so I might as well accept it and find some comfort in my skin (another work in progress 4 lyfe)

I also haul my ass to do things that I feel uncomfortable doing. Like going to The Women’s Dance Temple in Ubud. Through this, and many other sober dances, I’ve found that it’s totally cool to dance with the ‘professionals’ who have snake like spines. In fact, dancing has become a liberating process. One that has allowed me to notice that the deeper I can accept myself, the more my mind who tells me that ‘I’m wrong’ or ‘not doing it right’ or ‘pretty enough’ stands aside.  As this happens, I begin to simply move in a way that is fully true for me, which therefore translates in me becoming more graceful and powerful in my expression.

Choreography doesn’t work for me. Why? Because I can’t follow anyone else's routine. It’s not my rhythm. And that my friend, if you hadn’t gathered, is an analogy for life.

Stop giving so much of a fuck about what everyone else is doing. Accept yourself and your unique form of expression. Continue to stay in your own lane, because where you are the most potent.

Grace Brown