Evelyn likes being in the back of the room. In the back where she thinks she can hide.

In the back where it feels safe.

Evelyn is a student and a reader here. I wish you could meet her.

She sent us an email, Evelyn did. She wrote it in response to this.

I wanted to share it with you immediately upon reading it.

She talked about wanting to hide in the back of the class. Even wanting to leave. About feeling stupid. And about feeling afraid.

I knew these thoughts she spoke of

As a fellow fearful stay-in-the-back-of-the-classer, I knew these thoughts.

I figured you might know them too, so I asked her if I could share her words with you. And she said yes.

Below is an excerpt of that email.

(I've added some line breaks and bolded some words, but apart from that, this is all Evelyn.)

...

Why do I start a class in the back of the room?

Maybe Laura won't see me making a mistake.

Oh God, she is asking the back row to come to the front, Oh no!!

Now, she is asking us all to make a big circle. Now everyone can see that I can't dance. The whole class looks like they know exactly what to do, but not me! I can't remember a darn thing that I learned last week.

Now Laura is asking us all to do palmas one at a time. Oh no, my arms have just frozen solid.  My face is beet red from being embarrassed.

Okay, I got to get out of here fast.

Maybe she won't notice that I have picked up my bag and slipped out the door.

Wow, 

Laura just said if anyone feels uncomfortable that we could pass.

Okay that is a relief.

Okay, I think I'll stay just a little bit longer.

Now for learning a new step.

I think I can do this. After all, 30 years ago I learned a whole bunch of steps.

Piece of cake?

What the heck is she doing? That isn't the way I learned that step.

Concentrate.  

Watch, she is breaking it up in small sections.

Frustration is becoming evident. Now I am feeling really stupid. Everyone has picked up that step but me.

Wait a minute,

I think I got it.

But, what about the arms? Now I feel totally spastic.

I am feeling a little tear welling up in my eyes. Oh good, she is asking the front row to go to the back.

Laura won't see that I am just falling apart.

You say, Why do you want to continue?

If you are so strapped in fear why don't you just stay home?

But, I love flamenco.

I just wanted it to be easy, to come naturally. Like I was born to dance flamenco.

But, fear is my ball and chain. I can't move freely with the passion that flamenco brings while held down in fear.

...

It's normal to feel like you want to disappear from class now and then

I've felt this way many times.

Especially when overwhelmed by a choreography. Or when I'm just having a highly sensitive feeling day. It's even happened to me while teaching.  

This is

No

Big

Thing.

Later on I'll share with you some things I like to do when I just want to disappear from class.

But for now,

Can you relate?

Where do you start class? What fearful thoughts go through your mind during class? And what do you do with them? I'd love to know, and I'm sure Evelyn would too. You can leave a comment here.

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