IT TAKES 6 MONTHS TO LEARN ANYTHING

Last summer my friend Mallory asked me to join her for brunch at Mama Royal Café. Mallory would be the only person I’d know at this gathering but this place is delicious so I figured if her friends weren’t as awesome as she said they were at least the food was good (and I love their diner coffee). It was confirmed that Mallory spoke truth and her friends were indeed awesome, brilliant, quick witted, and funny. I said something silly while I tried to keep up with their amazing stories, experiences, and careers. This thing I said was a ridiculous thought I’d kept to myself. For whatever reason I decided this brunch was a well-suited situation for me to share this thing I’d rather have kept to myself. These ladies were not in the least bit unwelcoming; they were admirable and I was feeling vulnerable and made a rash statement.

I said I would be auditioning for So You Think You Can Dance and I had six months to make it happen. I made a precarious statement to make room for myself in this table of wondrous women. To anyone who was listening to what I just said, they might have interpreted the following: I was going to audition to become a contestant on reality TV show about dancing. And they would be right because that is exactly how it sounded. Thankfully, these ladies knew I was spitting a false game. After confessing this rather embarrassing thought of mine to a group of strangers, I questioned this real desire I had to audition for SYTYCD. Was I going to audition for SYTYCD? Sure.

This was all part of this insane notion I believed that anyone can master a skill in six months. Especially if you want something bad enough. The idea plays in my mind like the scene in Clueless where Cher’s dad is telling her to get home in twenty minutes saying “Everywhere in L.A. takes 20 minutes!”, only in my mind the character playing her dad is saying “You can learn anything in six months!” Do I still believe this to be true? No. Do I entertain the thought? Of course.

Taking the statement into context I did say I would audition for SYTYCD which is very different from being on SYTYCD. All I needed to do is show up at the audition location (city & venue), at the right time, and sign in to participate in the preliminary auditions. Easy peasy. I don’t like to do anything half fast so it’s not that simple for me. I’m an all or nothing kind of girl. I certainly needed to be better than most but I wasn’t looking to be the best in the room. The fact that I had this thought lacked a certain amount of humility and an overwhelming amount of self confidence that seemed false and forced to me. However delusional these thoughts might have been, I concluded this was audition would happen.  The outcomes seemed bearable; be a tiny clip in the blooper montage, be completely unmemorable and not appear on the show, or by some intervention from God make it on to the show as a contestant or finalist. Realistically, none of these scenarios would happen.

I try to make honest attempts not to act on my thoughts as quickly as I’ve done in prior situations and many times I fail. I’m impulsive; it’s a defect and an asset which gets me into trouble. When I took a step back, I realized this is one of those times where I can learn more about myself and how I react when I want something. In my moment of pause I read the SYTYCD audition guidelines and found out that my age exceeds the eligibility requirements; so there’s that.

It’s was done. I didn’t have to entertain the idea any further because it turns out I’m too old for this sh** and that’s okay. I was reminded that I’m a human who says inane stuff sometimes. I can do better and will keep practicing humility until it comes more naturally because vanity is goon that can respectfully eat my shorts.

On Sunday, almost a year to the day that I said I’d audition for SYTYCD, I just danced. Tanisha (SYTYCD Season 11, Top 10) was at Alonzo King LINES in San Francisco teaching a workshop. I signed up and showed up, and considered the workshop to be a healthy substitute to my notions of dancing on SYTYCD. Dancing with Tanisha was challenging, fun, and delightful. She was a welcoming person and a sweet dancer. When she extended her arms to me for a big hug at the end of class, I got little emotional. Here I was dancing with someone who openly shares and expresses her love for dance in the same way I intend to do. What I considered at first to be a consolation prize for my SYTYCD ambitions was actually the thing I wanted and needed.