I am a……

Ok, so sometimes I don’t know how to introduce myself. I mean, I know my name and everything, but some scenarios require I explain a bit more about myself- what I do, why  I have the skills that I have, etc- and this can be where I start to get a little flummoxed.

Here is an example:
At yoga, I have been recently asked repeatedly how long I have been practicing. To which I reply, “just a few weeks”. Then people feel uncomfortable because they have been practicing for much longer, or not, but inevitably our physical starting points are vastly different. Then I explain that I am a dancer and that is the point I struggle.

  • They may be looking at me and, as I shared yesterday, I imagine they are thinking that I don’t look like a dancer (sylph or stripper). Should I continue explaining?
  • They may have never met anyone that identifies themselves as a dancer and they are processing what that actually means.
  • They, due to their (lack of) understanding of dance expect this means I have been dancing recreationally my whole life.
  • They tell me they are/were dancers, too. And it becomes apparent to me that we don’t share the same definition.

So, I often play with other “titles”. Dance educator, choreographer, dance specialist….. In fact, to go back to body issues, when I was heavier I found these titles much easier to utter.

How do I convey, in just a few words, the breadth and depth of what I do?

Not only that, in these instances I feel the need to defend dance as an academic, intellectual, valuable pursuit. That, I dare say, is the root of the problem.

How do I defend what I do? Why do I feel I need to? Why is the idea that Dance is “fun” such an insult?

Maybe I will try “ I work in Dance”. That might invite clarification if any one wants it and sets me up to take a little more time in my explanation.

Or maybe I am over-thinking.