The Fear of Being Seen

If you get graded on an essay that you didn’t care about and gave zero effort on, it doesn’t really matter wether you got high marks or not.

But if you bared your soul on paper, any less than a 100 would feel like a personal attack on who you are and the things you’ve loved and fought for.

So maybe, it’s safer to not put anything meaninful in your work right? Less hurtful. Less vulnerable.

Well.

Just an idea, no one will know you for You. And everything that nourishes you will have a hard time finding you because people don’t know and understand who you are. You’ve peddeled so many masks that all your time and resources is wasted on scraps for your soul.

If that wasn’t convincing enough, you’ll hate your partner/BF/GF, will never have a succeful relationship. Because you’ll never connect on the level of who You are, with all the shames and secret passions, talents and quirks you’ve hidden from the public. They liked people pleasing version of you. Not You YOU.

So.

Where the hell am I coming from?

I competed salsa solo for the first time 2 weeks ago. With a choreography I made in less than a month. I was at a level of fuck it, I’ve always wanted to do a salsa solo (I think a lot of salsa ladies solo looks to ballroomy and this huge part of my artistry wanted to go in barefoot dancing about a poor lady). I got second.

You know what was more satisfying?

Being seen, people coming up to me going like where did you find that music? And I’ll be like yeah; i fucking love Carlos Santana this is more congruent to who I am as a person.

I’ll be honest I was sad for a bit for not winning. But you know what lifted my spirits up? Not an elaborate plan of vengeance of being better- but rewatching the champion and my performance together. I realized how different the thing I made was. How it didn’t pander to salsa basics and stunt expectations. How I was dancing to electric guitar. How my choreography was so much of my freestyle dancing that I was like – OH WELL i can’t expect all the judges to like that?? But holy fuck my performance was so Me. Aries Gemini me who likes to flip tables and do something out of the ordinary. I loved seeing myself go out of my own shell. And be recognized by a few people i really love and respect. (B: you were number 1 on my card , A: you put on such a great show, you were so free) – professional artists knowing and seeing me for work that is 1000% me.

There’s more.

A week later was boracay latin dance festival, a salsa congress. And I’ve performed in this every year, in different choreographies. But this was the first time that I conceptualized EVERYTHINg. Plus it was a solo. Plus this isn’t some christmas party for my dad – this was a bunch of salsa addicts from around the world and the community that made me fall in love with dancing in the first place.

What’s crazy is I made a DIFFERENT piece for this. Maria maria live by carlos santana in mexico is 6 minutes long. I did the last 2 mintues for competition and an edited down version of the first 4 minutes for the boracay show. I’d always rehearse them together..

And well.

I’ll be honest, I gave my all during festival.

I had a mindset where I was like, even if i was just social dancing I was like, what if this was my last dance on earth? How would I dance it? And I would break my personal limit of how much I could totally break into a song. I had my best dancing in these days that I was so aware of my temporality and it built up on the last day, when I was going to perform.

And guys, god. I can write russian novels of how inspired I am by the artists and the people I’ve dances with. You know what I said to my fears? My love and gratefulness is larger than all your doubts. I was legit praying, channeling for an 1 hr and 30 mins before I got on and my empath skills were so jacked I was reading the auras of some of the performers warming up beside me. (Which were beautiful btw) I told myself, again I’m dying on stage tonight, I’m coming out a different person.

And. To tell you the truth.

From my perspective, my performance could be better, my legs could have been warmed up better and it’s only in the last 45 seconds that I feel like I was channeling higher energies at the rate that I wanted to, and that I know I could from my rehearsals at home. Ofcourse audience presence would all factor into this.

But the response? Holy shit.

I, HMMM, never been mauled by so many smiles and Hyped people. They GET it. They got that I was doing a story, that I was dancing an emotion rather than a mood, they saw me hungry (I legit had a point in the dance that I kept telling myself MORE; give MORE) and they complimented me for it.

Acknowledged me.

Seen me.

Icing on the cake was having one of my favorite artists (based on energy really) go like – you stole the show, he reiterated your soul always comes through when you dance. I like your footwork. Another Artist told me to stay different; travel, people will love you. Another said, you had the best show you had us hooked on a story. On the energy, the passion. I had random people come up to me with these wide eyes complimenting me and i knew intuitively that I sparked something inside of them. You know, maybe something crazy.

What’s even more wild is that, that’s not the only dope thing that happened in the festival.

I’ve always been kind of insecure about my body so me filming a sunset bachata video that was just beyond my expectations- was phenomally healing. Then swimming into a golden ocean confiding in a friend about life and fears – i felt so liberated. It’s like God sent me anperfect smiling man to go like hey, there’s a plan to this. It’s like social dancing, you only ever know the next step. I felt so welcome to create, I feel so safe. I have so much I still want to make.

More social dancing videos, costumes and music to make choreography to.

I feel like me expressing my weird ass sensibilities was finally fucking VALID and actually welcomed and I never felt so free. I now wonder why I hid so long. I posted so many vids on my social media accounys, my previous fears of not being good enough and being judged for liking such a sensual old people dance being thoroughly thrown out the window.

I love these people. I recognize so much beauty in them. To keep hating myself for what I actually am when I’m unapologetic on the dancefloor is an injustice to the generous love they’ve given me.

So fuck. Yea. I know it’s mortifying to reveal yourself to the world. I told you, I was preparing for death, multiple times in rehearsals in socias. But it was the only way out of the birth canal of my own self-acceptance. That hey mijos grade me all you want. I will keep putting my soul on paper.

What’s crazy is that, even if I appreciate how helpful the support was from other people, that also didn’t matter as much. What mattered to me was how much I surrendered to the process how honest was I on the floor; it then didn’t matter to me if they approved of me; because me preparing for death in that way was supremely healing to me.

I’m not so scared of being seen anymore. So hey, to more fire.

M

your soul is welcome here

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