I had an awesome dance teacher once (Hi Adam, if you're out there) who said that, at any moment in a dance, he should be able to take a snapshot of the dancers and it should look perfect. All the connecting steps, the beats between the beats. Poised. Perfect.
Words to aspire to.
Straight up honest, though? If one picture in a hundred looks good -- if my feet are pointed and I'm smiling and I'm not sticking my thumbs out in that way that has caused my ballet instructor to nickname me Fonzie -- then I'm happy. (Helps to marry a photographer too. Then you have the hundred shots to sift though. )
So how did the show go? everyone asks. Well, I'll tell you this. I was nervous every time I walked on stage and I felt great every time I walked off. I never danced it as well at the theater as I did in my kitchen when no one was watching. I also didn't fall on my face, throw up, or pass out. I've seen the video and the short-comings are there and right where I expected them, but I've learned some things through this process and I think they show too.
I may have said this before, but I think it's a good thing to scare the crap out of yourself at least once a year in some constructive, non-perilous way. Dance on stage, give a speech, run a marathon, teach a class. Push yourself just a little bit outside your comfort zone just to show yourself what you can do. At thirty-five years old, I put on a tutu and flapped my arms like a bird in front of a couple hundred people. If nothing else, I give myself some points for guts. We call that earning your Griffindor colors around here.
The funny thing about a performance is that every time you do it, you can only do it once. There is no freezing time, or rolling it back. There's no chance to say, "Crap, I forgot. Can we do that again?" It's just a moment. Like a snapshot.
Or, you know, life.