On May 2nd, 2014 I performed in a group student showcase with Hells Belles Burlesque in little booty shorts and took off my shirt to reveal my beautiful Americana themed bra decorated by my very talented instructor, Natasha Vee. For some people that might sound like nothing more than a fun evening or an interesting story to share with friends, but for me it’s huge.
To put it in perspective, up until this experience I hadn’t even been willing to put on a bathing suit for as long as I can remember. I didn’t even own a pair of shorts, “booty” or otherwise.
The idea of dancing on a stage in front of an audience was frightening enough, but stripping down to anything less than a turtleneck was absolutely terrifying. And, yet, I knew I couldn’t afford to deny myself this experience.
I knew going in I would have to let go of my exhausting need to be perfect, to be the best, because that simply was not going to happen. I certainly wanted to do the best I could and I rehearsed that two-minute routine every chance I got, but ultimately my goal was just to see it through. Considering that just weeks ago I was so overwhelmed trying to walk across the studio seductively that I was crying, it seemed like it was enough to ask of myself for the time being.
When it was time to perform I expected that I would either fall flat on my face or miraculously find my alter ego once the music started. But I ended up somewhere in between. I can only actually remember three specific moments: walking onto the stage, spotting my husband’s smiling face in the audience, a moment when I was on my back looking up at the ceiling, and walking off.
When it was over I didn’t know whether I’d messed up or not. But either way I had done it. Not very well, I’m sure. But I faced a laundry list of fears all at once and lived to tell the tale. And I feel really good about that.