Did you ever sing into your hairbrush in front of a mirror when you were a kid? Did you ever dream of being on stage and performing an awe-inspiring dance piece? I did. I used to dance around on our trampoline with my tape deck, pretending to be Kylie Minogue or Madonna. It was one of my favorite pastimes. And then something happened, I grew up and became super conscious of being critiqued, I became scared of being laughed at and being embarrassed. I didn’t dance around my living room anymore for the sheer joy of it (unless I was a little tipsy). I became inhibited.
Queue “Move the Butte”. Before moving here, I had heard of this community dance production in Crested Butte from my friend Heather. She has performed in it a number of times and it sounded and looked like so much fun. I decided before we even relocated that I was going to be a part of it. I wanted to be part of the community, I wanted to push myself outside my comfort zone, I wanted to feel the joy I had as a nine-year-old dancing around to the Locomotion.
When a young man named Barron Farnell approached me at work one day last fall to join his dance for Move the Butte 2020, I didn’t hesitate. Little did I know at the time that we wouldn’t be performing a flowy lyrical that made you want to cry or a hard-hitting hip hop with punchy moves but a rendition of the Jellicle Ball from Cats the musical. Let the hilarity ensue!
Stepping into the dance studio for the first time ever took a lot of courage. I had sweaty palms, my heart was racing and I was definitely extremely self-conscious. I have had no dance training, ever. The great thing about Move the Butte is that it brings together people from all different walks of life, dance-trained and complete novices like me. There are all ages, body types and ability levels and everyone is welcome. Over the next four months, we transformed from a group of individuals that barely knew each other to a tight-knit little clowder with in-jokes and a bond that may wane over time but memories that are indelible.
Once show week rolled around, you could feel the tension and the nerves for all involved rising. Patience was shortened and some cats were getting a little testy. In times gone by, the looming performance would have resulted in me having an upset stomach, trouble sleeping, and a racing heart and mind. I was so surprised that I felt little except growing excitement and anticipation to get out on that stage and share what we had worked so hard to bring to life with the audience. To make them laugh, cheer, and feel what we did when we danced. And boy did they love it, as did we all.
Grace, Monty, Eliot and Eliot’s mum, Anne all came to see us perform yesterday. I felt so much pride and happiness to have them in the audience watching me. I hoped that Grace and Monty would see me up on stage and know that, even as an adult, they can feel the same joy they do when they are belting out ‘Into the Unknown‘ and to never let that joie de vi·vre be taken from them by fear of judgment.
Roll on Move the Butte 2021! I’m hooked.