Eons ago, I donned a full-body turtle* costume and danced next to a busy Tallahassee, Florida street. I was an introverted 18 year old who would NEVER have danced (alone) in public, but that costume freed me and allowed me to move in ways that would never have occurred to my unmasked-self. At the time, I recognized what the concealment did for me and was grateful for it. I enjoyed myself thoroughly.
Years later, I took up a new hobby…hoop dance. I am still an introvert and not a performer, but because I concentrate on my hoop, I lose most of my awareness of the world around me. I can actually hoop in public now, and with joy. To repeat, I’m still not a performer. If I’m hooping in public it’s because I’m practicing or happily teaching someone (or many someones) how to hula hoop.
So I’ve grown in that aspect---I can (hoop) dance in public, no turtle costume required. However, even after years of hooping, I still have not overcome the self-conscious inner voice that insists, “You are not a dancer.” Ad nauseum. I have tried various ways to silence (or at least mute) that voice, but nothing has worked yet. But do you know what I realized will work? Making my shadow dance in ways that I won’t…that shadow that is both me and not me. I can’t wait until my next practice session.
And this is Deanne Love's Instagram post that helped me make a connection between that turtle costume and shadow dancing:
*I was the VHS movie rental manager for Turtle’s Records and Tapes. I did say “eons ago”…