The Showgirl Stretch!

Last weekend, I was asked to audition for the Dallas Dance Follies for seniors. At first, I couldn’t imagine myself a brand new senior, dancing on stage in front of people. I wondered, doesn’t my friend know me? Then I realized she knows me pretty well. She was asking me to come into her world of the joy that dance brings her, hoping that it would infect my life in the same way.

This past year, one of my ‘character goals’ is to be more present, more in the moment, more joy, more happiness and the more I do, the more fun I have. No longer stuck in the rut of my discontent, I spent the year striving to stretch out of my comfort zones and into the person I want to be. A thriving well rounded, exceptionally great physical condition, smiling happy individual. I decided to take my friend up on her offer and I auditioned.

What surprised me the most in the first of only two audition days, was that I really lost the art of dance. Once upon a time, this was all I lived for. I was good at it. Exceptionally talented in the art of provocative movement. No longer did I possess this strength. The second thing that struck me is how daunting that reality left my confidence. I had never known that kind of physical disappointment with my own body before. The idea that my body couldn’t move where my mind wanted it to go in the way I saw it playing out in my head was absurd! This was me? I made a living doing this!

I left after several grueling hours and not being able to complete the dance steps. I was humiliated and I allowed that to fester deep anger. I was disappointed I said yes. I was equally pissed that I was asked to go. I remained in my pity party until my husband walked me through the logic of the lunacy that my thoughts tortured me. My confidence was shaken. I couldn’t make sense of what was happening and the emotions I keep well tied and placed in their own compartment ran amuck and showed themselves in ways I would rather not reveal. I was a mess!

Naturally, when the second day came, I said there is no way I am doing this. It was time to put this senior body into a leotard and tights and prance around as though I did when I was in my early 20’s. Heck no! I gave myself a hundred reasons not to go. The first being I would have to dance in a leotard! The many that followed all had to do with how someone else was going to look at me and judge me. Then I got it. Who cares!

I went to that audition, and I may not be picked, but what I will have is the fact that I met some really talented and marvelous women. I had the time of my life when I decided to lay down all my preconceived notions about how it should turn out. Once I dealt with the fact and only the data and did only what I could do, I found out that once I was really out of my headspace, I had a great time. The steps were a whole lot easier and I really enjoyed myself.

That’s how life is sometimes. Actions we believe will be painfully difficult end up being our biggest reward. When a person no longer allows their own emotions to undermine their success, the word, ‘overwhelming’ doesn’t come in to play anymore. It holds no more power. As I push through the intense to-do list of my week, I need to remind myself of what actually is a priority, what I can lay down and balance with fun, and what I can ask someone to help with. Life is about the dance. I hope you find your rhythm today and that it brings you as much peace and joy as it should.

Take care, Rebecca Nietert. To learn more reach me at or contact me at for publishing or writing advice.

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