Just Looking?

I have made my glorious return to jazz yesterday. I didn’t push my hamstring too far and it return, it behaved itself. My flat back looked less than impressive, I skipped the pancake stretch entirely and didn’t go full knee-yourself-in-the-face on the grands battements but that’s the extent of it.

My biggest problem had nothing to do with the injury but everything to do with the one class I missed: the choreography. It wasn’t much and I picked up the general pattern pretty fast, but the details elude me.

I have also encountered an unexpected mental problem: after standing up front for a couple of months in the beginner class, I get horribly distracted by people dancing in front of me. I need to up my concentration, and maybe even my coffee consumption.

Standing in the back was perfect yesterday because of the choreo I missed. The girl right in front of me was one of the best in class. She also happens to be super-pretty. Everyone in intermediate is super-pretty somehow, with perfect hair and make-up in addition to their dancing skills. My hair will frizz in all directions when I sweat and/or roll on the floor and I don’t feel comfortable wearing make-up in class, so I guess I better get used to it (and buy even more cute dance clothes to compensate).

The thing is, while I was copying choreo from the super-pretty girl in front of me, I noticed her looking at me in the mirror. Just looking. Again and again.

First, this is an impressive feat. If I were to stare at people in the mirror while dancing I would probably instantly forget what I was supposed to be doing.

Second, whenever I catch people staring at me I can’t help but wonder: what is going on in their head?! Within seconds of noticing the girl staring, I had a couple of theories as to what she might be thinking:

  • She’s following me! I’m great!
  • She’s following me! She’s shit!
  • She’s terrible, what is she doing here?
  • She’s not bad, I’m impressed
  • She reminds me of my great-granduncle twice removed
  • She’s exceptionally pretty
  • She’s exceptionally ugly
  • What’s going on with her nose?
  • She seems familiar but I can’t place her
  • What the hell was her name again?
  • She looks Asian/Slavic/weird*
  • I’m just staring off into the distance with no specific interest in the person in my line of vision

Needless to say I got so preoccupied with this that I forgot what I was supposed to be doing. But still, I wonder…

What are you usually thinking about when you catch yourself staring at someone?


* I do because I am. Mostly Slavic, with a quarter Turkic and a little bit of Romani mixed in. Maybe the reason people stare is that they have difficulty placing this mix. And of course I’m 100% weird!

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