Into the Fear with Anna DeBlasio, Part 2

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 second installment, "Approaching the Step-Touch", Anna tackles her second class head on and grapples with the perfectionist struggle we all do when we dance! In just 2 weeks, I can see tremendous growth in Anna's journey with movement.  How exciting is that?

See her journey, after the jump!

"Approaching the Step-Touch"

by Anna DeBlasio

The "Uptown Funk" warm-up ritual begins. I promise myself I'll let my playfulness show a little more today. It's getting close to my turn to pick a dance move. "Anna!" Crazy knees! That's what happens when I go to dance. Yes, good. Crazy knees are fun. Own that.


"Does anyone know what simplification is?"

..."You're almost right. But we don't like the word 'modification,' because that implies changing the choreography, which we do not want to do. Simplification is a tool used in a dance audition when one feels overwhelmed, blanks out, or feels that one might hurt oneself."

Make sure the footwork moves in the same direction. Keep the storytelling in the face. Do the arms. Keep the rhythm. Keep the shape. Find landmarks. Hit a point at the beginning, middle, and end.

"We can tell so much about a human just in the way they approach a step-touch." That's going down in my notebook, Jesse. This week I'm going to practice approaching my step-touches (literal and metaphorical) with joy and with all of me. I will own those step-touches.

"What simplifications will you do when we run the combination?" I don't think I need the simplifications for this one! Woohoo! I picked it up! Score!

Okay. Watch Peyton. He's doing the full version of the dance. And three and four and GOT IT.

Jesse points out that we don't need to have perfect footwork or get each step right, but rather to commit to the storytelling. Peyton adds, "Don't give me a reason to look down. If everything looks great up here," he points to his face, "then I won't look down." Hmm, maybe I should focus on what my face is doing before my feet. I might have looked like I was thinking a bit during this run of this piece of choreography. I'll work on that.


Water break. Lesson time, part two.

Perfectionism is not the same thing as striving for our best. "Perfectionism is about trying to please. It often occurs in people who are valued for their achievements, or whose worth is tied up in their achievements."

"Get clear on the cost of being a perfectionist. What are you holding back?"

I have often called myself a "recovering perfectionist." I absolutely was a perfectionist in school. In elementary school, I got straight A's all the time, so I began hiding my papers from other students in case I didn't get a 100, and they might laugh at me.

I think sometimes I hold back letting people see that I'm having fun--unless I feel extremely secure with the people and situation--because a small part of me thinks they'll judge it or try to take it away from me. I've gotten better, hence "recovering" perfectionist, but I do tend to do this. I experience joy very often. I'll work on allowing myself to be more generous with it.

"Generous" is one of my words for my Desired Audition Feeling. I have been told that I am a generous actor, always giving to my scene partners, sharing, etc. I don't mean tangibly giving. I mean sharing in the moment, basking in the story, really playing with them. I can do that when I'm in a dance audition too.  

Surround yourself with people who are on a similar journey. Part of that is this class, but outside of this class is obviously a large part of my life as well...the rest of it, indeed. The book I'm reading suggests surrounding yourself with people who are journeying as well, but some of them should be in different fields. It's true. I find it helpful to talk to my friends in law school, or my writer friends, or musicians.

Let's end with a dance. "Peyton will teach this one."

Five six seven eight, "Blue Skiiieeees, smilin' at me!" Drag, step step. Okay so the "grab backs" at the end aren't my thing. I could pick them up if someone taught them to me, but since this class is about simplification, let me try one. I'll just do a shuffle step.We're about to run it for the last time. Hold on a sec, the drag is super simple. Just a step drag with extended circular arms. I'll extend all the way, and I'm gonna LOVE it. I'll show them who I am with my step touch.

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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.