The art of staringpublished: 2009-03-12
I was never taught not to stare. I suppose staring was not on the list of educational priorities my parents had for me. There are quite some things my parents never really emphasized. Like brushing my teeth. Or closing the door when going to the bathroom. I suppose it doesn’t matter because I learned other incredibly important things such as: what fork to use first when eating starters. Or that ladies always go first, except when climbing stairs. That’s when men are supposed to go first. Why? So they can’t look up my skirt. Not that I ever wear one.
Anyway, oftentimes I catch myself staring at people. Sometimes my gaze is met with discomfort, sometimes with irritation, even confusion: is she staring at me? Why? The thing is though, these days I feel I am allowed to stare. I’ve decided staring is an important part of my work. You’ll be amazed at what you can learn about human nature simply by staring at people around you. For example, I love to stare at the other dancers in my dance-class. Now that we’ve all just about nailed the steps, other things have become visible. And staring at them yesterday revealed how we each have our own personal limitations we need to face. You can be great at stomping your feet, but it turns out you hands are as stiff as ping-pong bats. Or maybe the hips are looking pretty good, but damn, those shoulders are refusing to relax and are getting in the way of arm movements. Above all, it was endearing to see how everyone held his own. To hell with it, chin up, chest forward: this is me dancing, and this is me dancing the best way I know to. You may now be questioning whether I know my own limitations if I’m so busy staring at others all the time. Well, there’s this thing called mirroring. To learn. By looking at others. Boy do I know my limitations. But to hell with it: chin up and chest forward.