Last Monday I took my first jazz class in 24 or so years. For some reason jazz has me spazzing out on the anxiety end of things. I was on the verge of tears most of last Monday as I played the argue with the voice of irrational fear game. I was surprised though, I never doubted that I would go. I was just struggling. It's the same kind of struggle I had the first time I took a belly dance class, it's the same struggle I had the first time I went to Suhaila's on my own (and by on my own I just mean without my friend taking class with me. Cyd still rode with me). It's the same kind of struggle I go through again and again, though it gets a little less severe with each new thing. I'm having it a bit today too.
I actually had quite a bit of anxiety during the jazz class last week . I always try to break down what is causing things. For some reason jazz is putting me in that "omg people are looking at me!" head space that is part of the orgin of my anxiety disorder. Perhaps it's because jazz is what I had been taking when the agoraphobia first started to get it's claws into me. I know one thing that makes me feel incredibly vulnerable is the arms. In belly dance or even ballet there is a roundness to arms most of the time that gives me the illusion that I am still protecting my core/belly. I'd almost forgotten how much I do that. I have a tendency to keep my arms very close to my body or in a position that still feels protective. Jazz requires this straight openness that makes me feel incredibly vulnerable, like on the verge of tears vulnerable. Thankfully I posses enough crazy to feel that when something really scares me I have to push through it.
So today I'm nervous and scared for my second jazz class. I know there will be moments that terrify me, but I will try to do them anyway. I will allow myself to look like an ass because there is just no other way to learn. There will be moments that I am having so much fun that the fear falls away. I will feel the joy of movement and forget the past that I'm always using those arms to protect myself against. I will have proved again that I use dance to live.