In the photo you’re looking at on this blog, it’s not just a pretty dance pose in front of a lake sunset. In ballet, this is called attitude. Attitude is my favorite ballet move, whether I am balancing, turning, or jumping. It feels like flying and falling all at once.
Attitude is also an incredibly difficult dance move. Done incorrectly, especially derrière (to the back), you can easily tweak your back, your ass, or all of the above. Done incorrectly, your leg hovers off to the side and you look like a dog peeing on a fire hydrant.
You have to think of drawing your foot toward the opposite shoulder while your leg is raised awkwardly behind you. Essentially, attitude is a broken arabesque. To get it right, attitude takes strength and adjustments.
I think we all feel like we’re being tested this year. Who’s failing? Who’s passing? And, who in the hell came up with this test?
I just canceled my September trip to Barcelona, a place that has been in my dreams for at least a decade. It was a longshot when we booked the trip at the beginning of March, but we had hope that Europe would be an option by September.
I celebrated my trip cancellation with a 2020 interpretive dance, which I shared on social media this week. I debated posting this, because I try to keep things positive. But, I’m also a big believer in expressing yourself authentically.
With all that has transpired in 2020, giving the finger didn’t seem like enough. So, I gave two.
There are so many ups and downs this year for everyone. My Spain trip is laughably minor compared to all of the other insane shit that’s been going down. But, it was an escape on the horizon for a few months and now that’s long gone.
Dancing is my other escape. I haven’t been to a ballet class since early March. I never imagined dance could be taken away from me…like travel and writing, dance has always been there when I needed a release.
I’m doing what I can to keep moving forward with life. I’m canceling plane tickets and seeing it as a chance to savor my home, I’m doing ballet in my kitchen/living/dining room and trying not to break the glass dining table, and I’m throwing everything I’ve got into my podcast, Love Your Enthusiasm.
Along the way, I am choosing an authentic attitude. I won’t play the cheerleader smiling and bouncing around in front of a crowd when I really feel like the stoner outcast hiding in the farthest corner of the high school campus.
Milwaukee’s mask mandate went into effect a couple of weeks ago and now (hot off the press) the entire state is required to mask up. I wear a mask to check my mail and take out the trash in my apartment building. My skin is revolting, my chin breaking out from wearing a mask in the summer heat.
Breath is the overarching theme of 2020, isn’t it? I feel like I can’t breathe when I wear my mask—and I’m a yogi who has practiced breathwork for many, many years. I have to regularly remind myself to breathe and remind myself that I’m okay.
Every day is spent showing up for myself and working on my attitude position. I can’t get lazy, or I will come unhinged and lose what little grace I have left. I keep working to improve my attitude and I automatically revert to what I know intimately from my favorite dance pose…attitude.
- What do I need to strengthen?
- Where can I make an adjustment?
- Am I sinking and forgetting to pull up?
- Which area do I need to breathe into more?
And, if I can’t figure it out and stay balanced? I guess I’ll have to settle for looking like a dog peeing on a fire hydrant until I can find grace again with my attitude.