Friday, October 13, 2006

At long last... dance.

I had a dance class last night for the first time in – oh God, ages. I am turning into a sea slug on this tour, but finally, finally… movement. Jazz, but to a hard driving swing song, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy. A little disorienting to have actual choreography to swing; no partner, no following, but who cares?

It was ecstatic. It was lifesaving. I will be so sore by sunset (it always takes about 24 hours for the real pain to kick in) I will probably not be able to walk tomorrow, because of course I overdid it, but I don’t care. I could have gone all night.

If I don’t get to dance more, in the middle of all this craziness, I will do something drastic. It’s almost interesting to think what I might do, if it weren’t so completely terrifying. It’s quite possible that I’m dangerously chemically imbalanced and the only thing keeping me rational and productive is my classes and dance nights. Maybe otherwise I would be in an institution, somewhere. Seriously.

What do other people do to keep balance? How can you not be explosively physical after all this horrifying, calcifying sitting and thinking?

Honestly, I wouldn’t write at all if I could just dance.

But is that a total lie?

The contradiction is about killing me.


Anonymous said...

Hi Alex--

Just wanted to say that reading your post makes me rememer how much I love dance--especially ballet and modern--but I have not danced in years! My exercise of choice is walking on the treadmill for as long as I can stand it--I am up to as much as five miles at a time--Susan from Arlington, TX

Alexandra Sokoloff said...

Hey Susan (Susan from the library, right?)!!

I trained in modern but now it's just too intellectual for me. ;)

I love ballet, though. There's no other dance that makes me feel as centered and peaceful. That is, AFTER.

Five miles, yike. So you have some stuff to work out, too, I see...

Anonymous said...

hey, alex,

glad the tour is going well and that you got to dance!

I feel similarly about the balance thing - writing is, for me, very intense and energy-draining, though in a good way. I go nuts when I don't.

BUT. Yes, there is the issue of needing another, different, actually not so different but PHYSICAL outlet. I started back riding horses two years ago after 20 years not riding, and I suspect it was no coincidence that I found horses again shortly after getting my first book ready to shop.

I had totally forgotten how mystical and powerful and metaphorical riding is - I used to ride huntseat but started back studying dressage. It is much like dancing, but on horseback. I can't even explain (though obviously you know) how much the riding adds to my life - centers me, grounds me, like zen practice.

Do you find that when you get stuck in the writing and go dance, suddenly you find the answer to the writing issue? That happens to me all the time with riding.

So. I won't babble on here, but a good topic to rekindle when you make it back to Raleigh and we can have coffee!

JD Rhoades said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
JD Rhoades said...

Glad you got to dance, luv, and deeply sorry I haven't yet seen that...
For me,it's playing and singing, and hey, I really need to get the guitar out..

Alexandra Sokoloff said...

Oh, I can see how riding would be a PERFECT way to work out story. It is mystical and metaphorical! I think that writers need some concrete, physical expression of the creative process - for all kinds of reasons, including I'm sure a lot that I couldn't begin to put into words. But I need the physical metaphors to help me understand what I'm doing in story. I've heard writing related to sailing, a lot, too, which I can see.

I do dance to unstick. It works like a charm.

And then of course, guitar, piano, singing - all that is just lifesaving.

I was having an interview yesterday and the reporter was just fascinated by my dancing - she thought that was really unique, but I don't think so at all. I think it's ALL of us.

Christopher Chambers said...

Wasn't Big Bad Vodoo Daddy in that movie "Swingers" (Vince Vaughn, John Favreau)?

My wife dragged me to sala lessons last night. I'm still sore...

P.S. need to talk re: Darker Mask asap ;-)

Alexandra Sokoloff said...

Yeah, Chris - SWINGERS really put Big Bad Voodoo Daddy on the map. Great, great band.

Oooh, you can salsa. You are in such trouble when next we meet!