Monday, October 17, 2005

female collegiate athletes

"...and so then? i totally spiked the ball and hit her! i think i knocked the flour paste outta her. haw haw haw!"

i did some choreography for a college dance team this weekend and it was a terrific [yet physically painful] experience. in spite of one torn knee cartilage and one ripped hamstring, my hosts were smiling, gracious, and fun. they endeavored to be polite and respectful without being unresponsive. that's nice.

choreography is like putting together a puzzle: counts have to be mapped, formations have to be crafted and musicality need to be taken into account. a step into the practice facility is more of a leap of faith in your own craftsmanship. you have to believe in it yourself before you can ask twelve others to leap with you. with that said, it's the coolest thing ever to envision something in your little head [or big head, in my case] and see it willed to life by young, talented people who have faith in you, too. like having a child, it's a process that may seem mundane, but is miraculous every time. it's also like what i envision some kind of surrogate pregnancy and childbirth to be in that you have this project you bring yourself to nausea [or raging acid reflux, in my case] to complete. as you come close to the due date and there are just finishing touches left, you just want to get it out already. you bring the finished product into the world by pushing, forcing, trying other methods, breathing, keeping positive, aching, wishing. you finish with an ass-slap of an ending pose, and everyone in the room applauds exhaling laboriously. then, you spend sometime cleaning off the goo and checking its parts to make sure everything is where it needs to be. you leave it in the encircled arms of its new caretaker and hope for the best. then, when you have a deliciously crisp check in your hand, you forget how effing painful the entire process really was and say, "wow, that wasn't so bad at all. that was easy. let's do another."

on the other end of the spectrum, i flew home with a collegiate volleyball team. i made some observations:
  • they are big. i caught my reflection as i walked behind them to baggage claim and was struck by my smallness. after a weekend of poking at my doughiness in the bleary glow of the hotel's fluorescent lighting, i came to the realization that i am, in fact, a miniature person.
  • they are loud. in truth, i found their boisterous guffaws pretty damned annoying. their coach never urged them to use their indoor voices, which i found odd. why are volleyball players not reminded that they are ambassadors for their schools and to monitor their decorum as such? perhaps i am oversensitive because the threat of failing as responsible role models is an ominous cloud that hangs over the sunniest of spirit squad programs. whenever i hear this university's name, i'll always remember glowering at these women who could squash me.
  • they are fine with that. i did admire their comfort level. no self-conscious lipgloss application, no tough-girl posturing. just an androgynous zeal for life. i don't encounter that many women like that so i thought it was cool to witness.

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