Lately, I have been watching the Australian television show called Dance Academy on Netflix. I love it. While I am enjoying the story line and the characters, what I really love is all the dancing. Hip-hop, ballet, contemporary and tap numbers fill each episode – along with the requisite tutus, toe shoes and graceful dance moves.
And this is where my (over)active imagination comes into play.
In my silly brain, I picture myself as one of the dancers. I imagine myself being able to dance en pointe or complete a series of fouette turns while a delicate dance costume floats around me. Now while I know there is a lot I can do if I put my mind to it, gaining the ability to prance around a stage in toe shoes is probably not one of them. The mental picture alone is enough to deter me.
So then we hop over to last weekend when I was visiting a friend on the central coast of California. We went out for a lovely breakfast then he took me to a polo match – my first. I was in the stands watching these amazing equestrians fly back and forth across the field on shiny horses. So where does my brain head as I sit there? To envisioning myself as a polo player.
What? I rode horses in college. I could totally do it!
Ok, maybe not.
This is the same imagination that tells me I could take Phelps in the pool and give Gabby a run for her money on the beam.
I am very thankful that the “realistic” portion of my brain kicks in and smacks the imaginative side back into place. Trust me, my even trying to walk across a beam would be comical. I can do laps in a pool but it would look like those shots where I was in slow motion and everyone was at 10x speed were Michael Phelps to join me.
This is something I have done since I was a kid. In my mind, I have spoken in front of Very Important People, written novels and held signings, accepted Academy Awards and bowed before a packed house as I finished an opera solo. The funny part is that the imagination is so real to me, I can almost feel what it would be like. When I was in my 20s, I realized that being able to picture myself in these situations and doing well helps me visualize things going right. I found a way to use my crazy imagination in a practical way!
At least that is what I tell myself as I lower into a curtsy to accept my roses after a stellar performance as Clara in the Nutcracker Ballet.
So what amazing and outrageous things have you imagined yourself doing? Have you been up on the podium with me?