But What If I Forget How to Dance?

I spent most of Saturday before my first shift back immersed in worries about having forgotten how to dance on stage. It’s silly, I know, but it’s by far the only thing that embarrasses or worries me about work. After years of dancing, I still worry that I look like a babydancer up there, swinging my hips with no rhythm or making a fool of myself. Being naked never bothered me, being touched, being on stage, hustling customers — none of it bothered me, even on day one. It was always my hopelessly awkward dance skillz.

Over the years, I’ve chipped away at learning how to dance, and spent more and more time off the ground in pole tricks that cover my lack of skill on my own two feet. Still, something about having a month off, having not touched a pole in weeks, worried me to no end that I’d forgotten it all. I made the girls in the dressing room promise not to laugh if I turned out to be a little rusty for the night.

I hit the stage, three cider beers in, and sure as shit, I didn’t miss a beat. My mind couldn’t remember what to do, but some deep memory took over and commanded all of the usual floor and pole work. It was like I was never gone at all, as though my feet just dance away the night on autopilot. How long has that been happening? Sitting here now, I couldn’t lay out my stage set for you in words, but it happens, and usually fairly gracefully.

The Man Who Thanked Me For His Divorce and His Girlfriend stopped in to bring me a birthday gift. They’d shown up while I was gone a few times, and finally texted me to ask where the hell I was. A long massage at a spa, six bottles of different gluten-free and locally-available beers, and a bottle of moscato (one of my favorites!). A Dr. Seuss-themed thank-you card instead of a birthday card as a tribute to the connection the three of us share. The Man doesn’t need me anymore, and as a couple, they’re quite happy, but they still visit to pay thanks to making their relationship possible.

I’m not entirely sure what I did, beyond encouraging The Man to leave His Wife because he was rather unhappy and it was such a frequent topic of conversation. I nudged him to find his own happiness, and he found his long-lost high school sweetheart, who’d never received the letters he wrote to her from college. Her parents kept them away from her, and thirty or more years later, they found each other on Facebook. He left his wife, moved to my city, and began a new, satisfying relationship with His Girlfriend. 

And they still come by to thank me by dropping Benjamins on my stage.

I lasted about six hours into my shift on Saturday until I had to crack open a book in the dressing room and call it quits for the rest of the night. I paid off the DJ to skip me on stage, and downed more ibuprofen. I barely stayed awake through my dinner at home, and crashed hard.


~ by The Stiletto-Shod One on February 27, 2013.

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