One year ago this week I was a STAR in my town’s project graduation fundraiser DANCING WITH THE KEENE STARS. I documented my journey on this blog and many of you responded so favorably I wanted to share this year’s journey with you as well.
This year, I am back but as a judge, not a STAR. I have a whole different set of emotions and thoughts running through me this time. Last year I was nervous, apprehensive and terrified I was going to fall during the dance. I was also very uncomfortable having all eyes on me as I danced because, #1. I hate having all eyes on me for anything, and, #2 my weight was awful, which made # 1 even more terrifying!
This year, as a judge, I am terrified of one thing and one thing only: giving criticism.
Now, this is a fundraiser for a worthwhile cause. Project graduation is an all night alcohol-free party the high school throws on graduation night so the graduates won’t go out and get trashed, and potentially die from drunk driving. There has been precedent for this kind of behavior, hence the party. Also, all the stars have volunteered to dance, so with that you have to realize there is a vast amount of good will on their part, no? I remember vividly what it was like to be in the “spotlight” last year and grew more and more shakey everytime my partner and I finished a dance and were then “judged.” Now, the panel of judges was wonderful – there is no other word for it. Never a harsh comment, always encouraging words, and plenty of smiles and laughs. Even though I was totally out of my element, the judges made me feel like I was a true DANCING QUEEN. For those of you who came of age in the 1980’s, you will get that reference!
This is the kind of judge I want to be!!!! The problem: I have severe impulse control issues and very frequently any thought I am in the process of thinking pops out of my mouth uncensored. Do you know how horrible this is??? The last thing I want to do is make a comment that could potentially hurt someone’s feels – someone who is bravely and valiantly doing their best to entertain and raise money for a worthy cause.
So, what am I going to do as the big night approaches? #1 PRAY. Often and at an hourly rate! #2 Take a breath before opening my mouth. Truly, this is an effective maneuver for curbing impulse control issues. Your mamma taught you to think before you speak, and she wasn’t wrong. #3 empathize. As a past Star I know all about the nerves, tremors, and fears each present STAR is going through, so I can freely state my job is to offer comfort and encouragement, nothing more. #4 enjoy the moment. This show is truly one of the most fun shows to be a part of and an audience member watching. And when it is all said and done, the money raised will keep our graduates safe and entertained, and let them know the entire community is behind them and looking out for their welfare.
So, I am off to rehearsals and dance routines.
If you are looking for something fun, worthwhile, and entertaining to do on either Friday or Saturday night, come see KEENE’S DANCING WITH THE STARS. Ticket info is here: DWTS