Auditioning Bi-peds

I thought I do a post about auditions, as it is a big part of the life of a dancer.  In our company we have all kinds including the abled bodied/standees or what I refer to simply as bi-peds.   We worked on solo and duet pieces, and I did my part to partner as we put them through the basics. Besides dancing aptitude, “AB’s” have to also have a comfort level when working with us “wheelies” (or “seated dancers”). There is always the initial awkwardness, the run-over toe, misplaced hands, the look of confusion when told to “tilt” one of us.

Now here I have to confess, that I have my own odd sense of humor. I find the funniest moments are the first time they drop one of us. It happens to wheelies just like any other dancer, but when you are not used to seeing one sprawled onto the floor or flipped over backwards, an instinctive panic goes across the bi-pedal face. In rehearsal, we are left to our own devices unless the “safe word” broccoli is called. Yeah you heard me, “broccoli”. And it’s a challenge too, like kids who don’t want to be the first one to say “uncle”.   I personally would rather unstrap myself from the chair and crawl out of the carnage, especially if my “assistant” doesn’t know what they are actually doing. “Helpful help”, is gimp rule number 5.

Anyway, each wheelie was partnered with the different candidates, as each of our body abilities differ. From the seasoned pro, the “all abs” and the self referred “Gimp with a Limp”, I fall into line as the apprentice who just earned her place on the floor. The “ab’s” approach us in their own ways too. There were the ones who are so caught up in their own “audition” that it was hard to really connect to them in partnered pieces. Others so focused on not trying to harm us, they almost certainly did. There were the gems who both had good dance ability coupled with an open mind. One stole my respect with an air of “I’m just here to dance, and so are you”. I confess to my bias.

When one finds themselves “otherwise capable”, due to a sudden event or a slow digression of the body, those around us, whether friends or passing acquaintances, make their own adjustments. It came to me that there is a sort of “audition” for them after the initial awkwardness of our new “normal” and you never know if they will make the cut. Some wash out, they can’t let go of their own preconceived ideas and comfort levels. Others “try too hard” and miss that we don’t want to be “inspirational”, we just want to get through our days. The keepers are the ones who stumble with the changes at first, but stay connected with us as people. Pretty soon though, they are moving right along with you, they hear the music. Those are the folks I want to stay, and in that way, dance with, cause they are the ones that “get me”.

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