Friday, June 28, 2013

Week 3 of the Cyborg Dance Projekt

The first time I balanced a sword (2006)
Photo on the left was taken in 2006 at a small Renaissance festival in northern Minnesota. The background is a tent with warm-colored tapestries in browns, oranges, and maroon.  A doumbek drum sits on the floor near me.  My hair is shoulder length and light auburn.  I'm wearing a black tiered skirt, a black tunic, a silver belt with coins and bells, a large Kuchi necklace.  My hands & arms are shoulder height and I'm balancing a delicate silver scimitar on my head.

 On Tuesday, I went to the intermediate bellydance class that I've been going to at Twisted Dance.  The weather was absolutely dreadful, I was exhausted and in pain, and there was part of me that really didn't want to go.  I have this lingering fear that I will find some movement that will cause major pain, or will cause my legs to give out, or will give me that unnameable pain that makes me just burst into tears.  Dancing does still cause pain, and it does still relate to nerve irritation, and I am fighting pain that doesn't have an immediate "stop doing that right now" signal.

Despite a crummy day, I managed to get my butt to the studio with ye olde forearm crutch in tow. There were only 2 of us plus the instructor (maybe people are scared off by the drill-centricness of the class, or maybe 8:15pm is too late for most folks).  The class was pretty informal, but that helps because it allows me to pay more attention to my movement.

We warmed up, drilled mostly layering movements (mostly hip and shoulder shimmies with slides, pops, and figure-eights), and cooled down.  My hardware area gave me a few protestations that felt like they were addressed by making smaller movements.  I also noticed that I'm getting more flexibility back as well as it was the first time since surgery that I could touch my toes with straight legs (to give a point of reference, I used to be able to put my hands flat on the floor behind my feet).  While this is a victory on some level, it was a reminder about how easily my L4/5 joint can get messed up (I already have nerve-related signs that the nerves are irritated....I may need to get another fusion when that gets bad).

Later that evening, I had a pretty bad delayed reaction to dancing.  Every time I put weight on my right leg that night, it felt like I was being jabbed with a large flathead screwdriver in my glute.  That feeling has been on again, off again since Tuesday, but combined with more overall nerve crumminess (which I exacerbated by dancing and modeling on Thursday morning.

I'm toying with going to the same instructor's class tomorrow as she's teaching a sword class, but I'll need to see how my overall balance is before I try to take a class that requires balancing a dangerous-looking object on various parts of my body.  Even if I'm in a lot of pain, I'll probably end up going just so I can play with my favorite dance prop.

The Projekt will be on hold until mid-July as I will be going to Minnesota for my annual trip to see friends at CONvergence and my family afterward.  Expect a few "flying with wheels" types posts as I'm bringing my wheelchair.  My balance and walking/standing tolerance has been too inconsistent to just rely on a cane or crutch both for travel and getting around the convention hotel.


  1. You'll be at CVG? Awesome! I was trying to make a new basic dance costume in time, but with the power outage we had last weekend, I couldn't finish. :(

    1. Yup I'll be there. I'm going to be a part of the Misfits flash mob (although the jumpsuit I bought online is way too big on me and I don't have enough time to order another one and return the one I have...I also don't have the sewing skills to try to make darts in it or adjust the torso part of it). I'm trying to decide what other cosplay to do...probably Oracle again as I'll have my wheels, maybe Hunger Games, and maybe wear my ren fest garb for the last day.

      I'll likely be badging, helping at Reg, and doing elevator shifts again....stop by and say hi if you run into me!