Last night I went to a Holiday Showcase for my dance studio. Dress was "semi-formal," with a cash bar and hors d'oeuvres at a nice South Austin hotel. Walking in, it felt like a High School Reunion. The dress was fancier than I expected. Hell, I should have known better, this is Texas! My clothing range varies little - different shades and textures of simple black touched off by a varying intensity of makeup and earrings. That's it. But this crowd was quite swank and good looking.
I went with my new friend from class. The one who'd caught me on Sxsw Presents and then googled me. Which I found to be way more charming than creepy. It's a very familiar new-friend pattern for me. She's one of the cutest girls at the studio. I'd noticed her dancing before I recognized her at Sunday yoga. I mentioned the yoga, she mentioned the TV, and now she's the one I talk to. I watch all the guys hit on her, and ask her to dance while I'm standing by, and it feels very familiar. Only now, not only am I not single and available too, I haven't been in decades. But the syndrome feels the same. I don't know how she feels about being single. She asks more questions than she answers. But she's lovely, and we have a good time when we talk. I kept feeling like I should shoo her off to one of the cute young guys there, but she seemed comfortable hanging with me. One of these days I'll get her story.
I was primarily interested in the showcase to see the teachers. They did not disappoint. Real dancers, real beautiful lines and grace. But what was the surprise was the students. More women than men, of varying ages. Of varying ability too, but joined in their desire to perform publicly. Which means to be seen. Early on, my friend A. leaned over and asked, "Think you'd like to do that?" The answer was emphatically "No." I really don't like to be looked at. Why? I don't know. I performed as a child into early teen years, then stopped. I really don't like to be looked at, at all. To be known, yes. To get credit, absolutely! But to be looked at, definitely not. It feels like a different breed entirely, those who crave the spotlight. I recognize it, I truly can't relate.