As women and as dancers here in the 21st century, we been victimized by a lot of people. We have built so many defenses against the way society and media views us. We have built defenses against what society and media have built men to be. We have built defenses against our parents, our lovers, and even ourselves. Remember that post about conditioning? We have conditioned ourselves to tolerate things that are intolerable, building all sorts of fortresses around our hearts and arming our minds with tons of weapons. So many of these mechanisms were built under distress, though, and we have begun to see the results of these defenses as “who we are.”
By suggesting that we evolve as dancers, I am also saying that we need to evolve as people. Each person has things that they do that they know simply do not work, but for some reason they just can’t stop. This is because they are used to acting a certain way, continuing to do so will help them avoid the discomfort of change. I will be the first one to admit, change is really uncomfortable. Learning to be a better version of yourself feels so weird, sometimes it’s like I want to crawl out of my skin, but you know what? MY LIFE IS SO MUCH BETTER. Taking the time to examine myself as a person and keeping notes about everything so I can actually monitor the change has been the most liberating thing I have ever done. It has led me here, to be able to share everything that I’ve learned. I know that I will help people with this project, and I chose it because I passionately believe that we can reprogram our faulty systems and make ourselves happier, and make the world a better place for young girls everywhere.
So what does this have to do with dancing (besides everything?) Here’s one:
Our building insecurities, our diminished sense of self and self-worth, and the constant feeling of being misunderstood has taught us that we are the safest emotionally if we display our personas loudly. We flap our mouths at coworkers and at customers nonstop, telling them about what we think, feel, believe, and especially what we hate or disagree with. By broadcasting our feelings, we have created a simple system: the people who listen or agree are cool, and fuck the people who don’t.
This is just such a faulty way to live. Not only does it scream your insecurities to everyone who will listen, but subliminally, you are programming yourself to be stubborn, angry, and bitter. You are turning people off before they even have a chance to get to know you, like you, and especially pay you. The next time you work, how about you try this: ask questions, don’t EVER talk about the club, how you feel about stripping, or how you feel about anything for that matter, unless you’re saying “omg, I totally agree!” I am going to ask you to stop being an insecure little girl (at least at work), and for the time being, evolve into a business woman. If you can get a guy to open up to you, you have him in the palm of your hand. He goes home to his wife, kids, or girlfriend who all put every thought and feeling out into the world for him to process. At the strip club, we need to give him a place to decompress from all of that. Just shut up, listen, and dance. Your wallet will thank you!
At work, you need to maintain professionalism, but mostly you need to protect that insecure little girl inside of you. I am NOT asking you to ignore her, I am asking you to shelter her. Usually this means not getting too fucked up at work. If you are not in your right mind, you are likely to slip back into comfortable habits. If there is a part of you that never got the love and support that you needed (I am willing to bet there is) I think you should nurture that, but I don’t think coming at customers with every belief you’ve ever had about anything ever is the way to protect her. I think you are just making her poor.
Evolution takes time. It takes learning the basics of all the things you know nothing about but have convinced yourself you’re an expert on. Faking it til you make it works, but not if you never make it. Start digging at the parts of yourself that you don’t like—somewhere in there lies the trigger of what made you that way, and once you identify that, you can change it! If you have deep emotional issues, are the adult child of an alcoholic, addict, physical, emotional, or sexual abuser, please consider looking for a therapist in your area to help you dig into this part of your subconscious, and read Toxic Parents by Dr. Susan Forward. Bringing your dysfunction with you into the strip club can be especially damaging, and unfortunately is what leads to “stuck in the club” syndrome, which slowly and heart-wrenchingly turns into “bag lady” syndrome. I have seen it happen, please don’t let that girl be you.