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Dysphoria, Style and Movement

I just got out of a practice where I started playing with gravity, hits and moving to the fullest I could extend with certain motions. After half an hour I was still feeling energized and stumbled my way onto a problem.

Practicing naked.

I’ve mentioned before on facebook that I believe in practicing in a certain amount of undress at least occasionally because you can more clearly see what is happening in your body. I find it astoundingly helpful. It highlights the feeling of air and gravity on my skin so I can somewhat get out of old habits and into new ideas.

This also means sometimes my feelings get hurt… First my insecurities flare up. I’ve been doing this for a while and could handle that. Soothing my discomfort around certain areas on my body, my perceptions of attractiveness and feelings around my physicque and height is a normal part of the process. What I was surprised about was dysphoria. Gender dysphoria is a a state of discontent with how your body presents your gender.

Now I have dysphoria on and off all the time, and that’s hard, but managble. What I didn’t realize is that as my gender has changed what I want to send people about my style, my body, what I want to show off and how I want to be seen is different…. I just also don’t know what it is.

In classes I ask students to pretend to be someone they admire to get out of their heads and into their body. So, I used my old excerise for myself and thought up a few people. They were confident, self assured, attractive, decisive, smooth and portrayed their version of masculinity.

I felt like a mockery of their styles. Like a con artist to believe I could find those things within myself to portray. I started to spiral. And stepped out of the practice because I could see I wasn’t in a place to get back to being productive.

Deciding your style is a process, one that, hopefully never ends and you and your taste grow and change. It’s hard, awkward and can bring up tons of discomfort. But, it’s important. Through exploring your style, getting comfortable with your insecurities and delveloping a health view of yourself, you can better your dancing and your life.

Keep practicing