Saturday, March 10, 2012

In which I become an elephant hunter

I have a tendency to get embarrassed easily. I care a little too much about what other people think about me, about looking smart, or fun, or sophisticated, or at least normal. So when the other members of my choreography group in dance class wanted to make our dance a story...I was skeptical, to say the least. I wanted to be taken seriously, to create beautiful, flowing shapes and get comments from the class on our wonderful use of energy and rhythm. My group members wanted to act out two hunters stalking an elephant in India, complete with Bollywood moves. I thought that sounded childish and stupid, but I was outnumbered, so I decided to swallow my pride and roll with it. And here's what I discovered: We didn't have the smoothest choreography. We didn't have the best technique. But dang it all, we had fun. And we made our audience laugh. And I got to creep through imaginary trees and bushes (creeping is once of my favorite activities) and do a victory dance over our "elephant's" dead body. I could have easily been embarrassed and self-conscious, and I would have ended up looking stupid and unsure. But since we all decided to put all we had into creating this story, it ended up being a joyful, exciting experience, both for us and for our audience.

So I've been thinking about this: why be embarrassed about things I honestly enjoy? Why should I act ashamed when I tell people I love webcomics and Miyazaki films? Why should I feel self-conscious when I need to teach a South Indian raga for a homework assignment? Embarrassment is usually a waste of emotion anyways, and just drains the pleasure and satisfaction from the experience.


  1. Yeah, but apprehension, nervousness, and anxiety are completely normal before doing something that could be potentially embarrassing. Like the way I feel before I go to any sort of blues/swing/latin dancing. I have yet to (seriously) embarrass myself in one of those situations, but I still get really nervous.

    1. That makes sense. I guess I'm not saying you shouldn't feel any of those emotions, just that you shouldn't let them get in the way of enjoying something worthwhile.

  2. You're right. And sadly me being nervous more often than not keeps me away from those types of dances. But every time I don't go, I feel pretty relieved... ;)