The show is over.  Yet again, I did all the work.  Put in all the time.  Worked up all the nerves.  Worked up all the courage.  I showed up.  I got on stage.  I danced my heart out.  And then it was over. 

Man does that hit hard.  All that work, and it’s over. In minutes. Yes, you have the memories, videos, and pictures; but it’s done.  There is something that lingers though.  I have had a hard time identifying or labeling it in the past.   This year however, when I was talking with a friend about the show later that night, I used the term, “post performance energy.”  They kind of laughed at me because they have never performed or felt what I was trying to describe.  I will admit, I took the phrase from the one I frequently hear connected to relationships and that is “new relationship energy”. The concept is similar in that there is an energy that seemingly lives in your brain for a while. 

For me, post performance energy comes with a lot of actual excitement and energy, even though I am physically exhausted. (Yes, I’m an extrovert)  I feel good about myself.  I replay hearing the cheers in my head.  Heck, I feel the cheers.  I feel the energy from the crowd.  I hear Paula’s words of affirmation and passion.  I feel strong.  I feel powerful.  I feel like I have accomplished amazing things.  I feel like I can continue to accomplish amazing things.  I feel like I have a sisterhood.   I feel like I am ready to take on challenges and continue to work on a better tomorrow.  My cup is filled to the brim and overflowing.  I live in this space and take it all in, because, unfortunately it too goes away.  

The next morning, I woke up.  My muscles were sore.  My heart was full.  And my head still had some post performance energy, but I knew it would also soon fade.  This year, I did something I haven’t done after any of the previous shows I performed in.  I did some really deep reflecting on that feeling. In what that energy was.  Where that feeling came from.  I asked myself questions.  Why do I feel this so deeply?  How can I feel this again?  Why don’t I feel this more often? 

I don’t have answers.  I have a lot of thoughts. Man do I have a lot of thoughts.  I also have a lot more questions.  There is a lot of self reflection to have, no doubt by most of us.  But what I did take from my time in my thoughts was the following:  

The show is Aerial Dance as a whole experience put on steroids and jumbled gracefully into an amazing 2.5 hours. It is empowerment.  It is sisterhood.  It is showing up and doing your best.  It is having fun.  It is having the support of your community.  It is having cheerleaders both for when you hit the big move and when you don’t.  It is people being proud of you just because you showed up and did what you could.  It is people recognizing the strength and power of each woman on that stage. It is people celebrating the beauty of each woman on stage. 

The more I thought, the more I realized, the show isn’t just a time to showcase your talent.  It isn’t just a time to see the amazing, yet overly humble, instructors get the spotlight. (And even if it was only that, it would still be absolutely amazing.)  But it doesn’t end at just our talent. The shows are the energy of the studio.  The existence of what Aerial Dance has been built to be.  The shows are a time for talent and dedication to dance on stage with empowerment, sisterhood, and humility.  

And that, my friends, is what post performance energy is made of.  It is made of the empowerment, the dedication, all of it put together.   It is an experience I will forever be grateful for and will encourage others to partake in. The post performance energy has faded for the most part.  It still pops up when I talk about the show and says hi.  And until the next time I have the opportunity to perform, I will continue to feel small pieces of that same level of empowerment and support everytime I walk through the doors of the studio.