Wednesday, March 18, 2009

What is it worth?

Like many people (I can't even say just Americans anymore, it's everywhere) I've lost my job. It hurt, not just because it was my source of income but because I worked for a local business I had helped create, open and run. I would like to say I've spent the past month kicking a$$ and taking names with my dance practice, but that's not true. I've been spending a lot of time sitting on my butt at my house. And cooking. I'm still in my class and my troupe is practicing, but I haven't really ramped things up.

Being out of a job it weird because suddenly I do have the time for the things I couldn't do before. Part of me keeps thinking I can go to yoga class! Or hooping! I could add dance classes with new teachers! I can travel to D.C. for classes! I can travel elsewhere for workshops and such!. Then I remember that Hello! No job! On a super budget!

Not having a job and not having lots of extra money means I am having to skip, yet again, something I want to really do, which is taking the General Skills workshops with FCBD. Between the workshop costs, the travel costs and the hotel costs I'd be looking at at least a thousand dollar commitment. It makes me sad, because I see dancers from my area making plans to go to one of this year's sessions and I want to go too! I remember when Carolena first mentioned them at a Tribal:PURA workshop and Lyra and I excitedly talked about saving up so we could go. Things have definitely changed since then (I think that was almost three years ago). I do not think anyone will bring GS to this area. I'm not sure there is someone in our area who could afford to do it, or who is in a position to be able to set up such an extensive event. I wish it could be me!

With all these thoughts going around in my head I really REALLY started thinking about attending the GS. And I started thinking I'm not sure I'd want to go, though I'm not sure if this thought process is soup grapes or me being reasonable. I know there is a wealth of info being offered, but one thing that I'm not keen on is that since the GS workshops started the size of the sessions has become larger. I think when it started the sessions could be 1 to 15 people (I'm trying to remember based on the old price structure info I read), which is definitely intimate and allows for personal attention. Now they go up to 25 people, and though that can be small for a workshop I know that is big for a regular class. It seems like that personal attention could be stretched a thin. If I was spending a thousand dollars or more to be one of 10 people, that's one thing, but not to be one of 25. I'm sure the size of the workshops has expanded to meet the demand of dancers, and I know that the teachers are also business people and they need to make a living.

But then I start to wonder how I could possibly teach with an ATS base and not take the GS? Not that I teach solely ATS moves, but that is where my troupe is grounded. But I also know that, more than for teaching, my desire to do the GS is for me, for my personal fulfillment. If I want to continuing teaching I just have to teach what I know, and what I am learning. Going to a GS session is more for me to bask in ATS for a few days, to dig into the dance form and understand it more. But right now I'm at a crossroads, balancing what I want with my other responsibilities, what I dream about tempered with a dash of commonsense.

In case anyone is wondering, I've had this cycle of want/don't want conflict tumbling through my head for about the past year. It's ramped up in the past few months I think because I have more time to think about it. I figured maybe if I could dump some of it out here I'd be able to get a better handle on it.


Flissy said...

Yeah, I would also say that my desire for GS is also for ME. When it comes to dancing ATS is my true love, and I feel like now is the time for me to do it. It's going to be a huge financial sacrifice, and I'm pretty much resigned to the fact that it may very well be the ONLY thing I get to do this year.

I still have some of the reservations that you mention, and on top of that, I wonder if I even deserve to go. Am I good enough of a dancer to get everything I want out of it? Will I come out on the other side with anything to show for it?

Anyway, whether you decide to do GS or not, either this year or later down the road, you're still super dancer and teacher. Even though it's the queen mama of ATS, it's still just a workshop, and you are already so invested in studying and honoring the roots of the dance.

PS- and what is it with the unemployment = cooking?! I have leftovers from a perfectly yummy dinner last night and yet I still had to make scones as big as my head for (a very late) breakfast this morning.

Amy said...

Thanks sweetie! I think you'll have a fantastic time and you will get a lot out of it, not only through your dancing but your yoga training too. I think that other training can make it easier for us to absorb other info, we know what and how to look at things.

Other than Ali's workshop I have nothing else planned except classes. It's thank kind of year.

I was out running errands but was too lazy to add grocery shopping to that. Instead I'm going to try using the rest of the pom. glaze on tofu and making big ole' salads for dinner.

Paulette Rees-Denis said...

thanks for linking to my blog!
I will reciprocate....
also, think about signing up for my enewsletter if you have not, or joining the Collective Soul Tribal Bellydance intensives. I would love to have you join us!
Hope to meet one of these days. good luck with your dance and your job situation!
Gypsy Caravan Dance Company