I have been thinking a lot lately (within the last 48 hours) about how I present to the world. Specifically how I present sometimes to the dance world. I consider myself a pretty neutral person. Most of the time I walk through the world without any thought about my gender. Sometimes though, I notice it blaringly, mostly as a relative lack. I watch a woman put on make-up on the train, I see someone with well styled hair, or form fitting clothing, and I notice how different I am from them. When I consider that if I had to put myself somewhere on a scale, I would be just feminine of neutral.
When I go out dancing locally, I tend to go in whatever I was wearing anyway. This can range from a dress to polo and khakis. Yet when I head out of town, I think people may get an impression of a much more feminine person. I pack dresses to wear almost exclusively. This isn’t really anything more than the fact that dresses take up less room, and the ones I own usually pack and travel better than my other “nice” clothes.
Except for the planning of one specific thing.
When I compete, since I do not value winning, I always compete as a lead. When I compete, as a lead, I dress as high femme as you can ever expect from me. I wear heels and tights and a dress. I might do my hair, and I often do my make-up. I believe that I am a decent lead, and I want to show the world (or at least the exchange) that a person can be a decent lead while still embracing femininity. Too often I feel that women who lead reject their femininity and dress “in drag” when they lead publicly. I’ve had someone who knew I was able to lead ask if I wanted to lead her even though I was “dressed as a follow”, and this struck me as silly. Is there a dress code to go with dance roles? Am I choosing how I want to dance when I make my wardrobe choices? I think not, so I think it is important to show myself to the world as a who is sometimes feminine and who sometimes leads.