|My crutch plus hip fringe|
Photo to the right shows a bronze forearm crutch leaning against a dance studio mirror with multicolored fringe hanging on the cuff of the crutch. Some of the fringe is almost as long as the crutch is tall. The crutch is slightly reflected in the mirror behind it.
I've been having a rough week since getting back from Minnesota. While I was physically active on vacation, I didn't do any dancing or physical therapy type things. I also went right back to work without taking a day to recover from the trip. Needless to say, my body did not feel like it could handle a dance class....but I knew my mind, heart, and soul needed it.
So I posted on Facebook that "I had a two week dance hiatus because of my trip to MN and it's been a rough several days because of pain....I'm still going to go to class, even if I have to sit my butt on the studio floor and pretend that I'm moving in my head, damnit." My awesome instructor replied with "I'm sure I can figure out something for you to do on the floor" with a smiley emoticon. When I saw her before class, I let her know that I was being a little dramatic and just needed to get thoughts out, but that my two week break from dancing showed me that my little Projekt was doing more good than harm (I really wasn't sure if I was just being stubborn because I wanted to dance or if I was seeing some sort of biomechanical benefit along with the pain). I also realize now, in retrospect, that I had taken prescription pain medication before class, so I think I was being overly chatty and rambling.
Sure enough, my gimpitude inspired a seated drilling class where we focused on really isolating some of our body parts. Necks, shoulders, chests, even a little hip and glute work (which amazingly did not irritate my spine like a lot of glute work does...probably because of less focus on the gluteus maximus and more with auxiliary glute muscles). We ended standing with a fun little choreography that she teaches her beginner students and stretching to cool down. While I had a few balance issues that were pretty easily corrected with a wider stance, my pain level was pretty well under control with the medication (sometimes medication means I'm less mindful of my body's limits and I'll push too far because it doesn't hurt "too badly").
So far, I think the Projekt is a success, although it has caveats. The real test will be to see how well I can perform, but I'll find that out at the end of the month when I dance Arabian Spices with two of the instructors at Twisted Dance Studios for the 10th anniversary of Sahira's Arabian Spices choreography. I still don't know if I'm going to have to learn two versions of the choreography depending on my balance issues that day (one that is with the crutch, one without), but I have fabulous people that are supporting me through this!