Into the Fear with Anna DeBlasio

Into the fear

Have you been wondering what it's like to FACE THE FEAR with us?  Thought about signing up, but just not sure if it is worth it?  Over the next few weeks, as we gear up for our next session, check out our installments of "Inside the Fear".  This week we have a sneak peek into the classroom with one of our alumni who finished our most recent workshop, Anna DeBlasio.

In her first installment, "But First, We Must Dance", Anna recaps her first class and all that comes with it: fears, triumphs, and truths.

Check it out, after the jump!

"But First, We Must Dance"

by Anna DeBlasio

"What is a happy memory you have of you dancing?"

When I was about three or four years old, my dad had a few of his friends over. I was super interested in figuring out these man-creatures, but my mom sensed that I was intruding on their shared time. She stepped in and told me we needed to go grocery shopping. "Are you ready Anna?" she asked, grabbing her coat. "Yes," I replied. "But first, we must dance." And I made her dance with me, right then and there, before we left.


Time for a warm-up. "And up up down down, plank plank plank!" I should have done my morning planks this morning. "You are not the person next to you; your bodies are different. No need to compare." Alright alright, connect. How am I holding up? This takes me back to my dancing days. I should do this more often. Someone laughs. Jesse comes around and adjusts my positioning. The stretch intensifies. "Feel better?" Ahhh, I thought, that's the stretch. Someone sighs, and Elise cheers for our team.

After sweating and stinking up the room, we got a water break and circled up.

"What was your most recent creative experience? Jot down three words about how you felt." I sang this morning. I felt free. Strong. Active, like I'm part of some invisible community.

"How do you want to feel in your creative life?" Open. Honest. I want to make a stink.

Breathe. Don't forget to breathe. "You are in charge of your joy." Create a grander idea of joy. "Joy is not circumstantial."

Time to dance! We learned choreography to "Big D" from The Most Happy Fella. And hold and two and three and four and GO and six and seven, eight!

I picked up that choreography pretty darn quickly. Yee-haw! ...'Scuse me; it's that kind of number. I must have picked it up because it's day one and this isn't a real audition. But hey, I'll take what I can get. I can't wait to see what tricks they have in store for expediting the learning/retention process. This is fun, and I'm exercising. I'm sweating. Oh, she just went for that acting choice. Ha! I laughed out loud, in the dance. Hey wait, I laughed out loud in the dance! That's great! Yes, thank you, comrade.

Circle Time part two.

"Here are these affirmations. Say them in the mirror once a day, twice a day, many times a day, or whatever you need." I mean, I've ugly-cried looking in the mirror. I can choose to look in the mirror and say nice things about myself, and I do that too sometimes. It's just somehow slightly more embarrassing to say, "Yeah! I look in the mirror and say 'oh hey!'" That takes a different kind of courage.

"Alright, guys. We're going to try the combination once more. You may have forgotten bits here or there since we sat down and shared and talked for a bit. Just breathe and give it a shot. Connect to yourselves and to each other" Low stakes. Yeah, let's do it! And one and two and three and four and GO and six and seven, eight. Wooohooo!

"Guys! That was wonderful! You did it! YOU CAN DANCE!" I admit I felt a little bit like a ten year old boy when some older relative pinches his cheeks and says he's so handsome. I did that smirk and half-hearted eye-roll, but I appreciated their enthusiasm nonetheless. And I was proud of our little group. We are the makings of a team.

Breathe in joy. Embrace movement.


Now as I wait for my bus at Port Authority, I think about community. As I exited the building, my hands were full, so a kind gentleman opened the door for me, and we laughed about it and wished one another a good night. I walked with one person for a little while, my tiny sneakers in step with his large dress shoes, until he turned away, and I was on to do-si-do with another woman. What brings Dress-Shoes joy? What was his most recent creative experience? What does my do-si-do partner need to forgive?

...Time to eat my banana before the bus comes, because bringing all of myself to dance for three hours makes me hungry...

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Anna DeBlasio is a singer/actor and graduate of Loyola University Maryland with a BA in Theatre and English, summa cum laude. Aside from theatre, she works as a math tutor and freelance proofreader. In 2012, she traveled with Dramatic Adventure Theatre to Slovakia to teach theatre to Romani children and devise a play based on the team's research and experience. Passions outside of the arts include: reading, the human brain, mathematics, bike-riding, and being barefoot. She is interested in the intersection of the arts and social justice.