Lately I’ve been having a lot of fun sprucing up my wardrobe, finding unique and colorful prints to add to my closet. Which got me to thinking about the first couple of years after dancing when I only wore black, gray or designs with those two colors. Straight up- I might as well have been a funeral director. When I went shopping with my husband, I would gravitate towards the closest monochromatic clothing, and he would chuckle and say, “No surprise.”
My paranoia was that I would be recognized by a customer or a fellow dancer and called out and everyone would know I was a former stripper. Couple that paranoia with an anxiety disorder, …and a couple of years spent at a super toxic workplace……I was a self-doubting mess. So I figured the most grownup look was a black and gray color palette, with the traditional old fashioned work clothes. I cringe a little thinking about the gray pants, black loafers, old lady prints. But those colors felt safe to me. Made me feel a little more capable even though I was an total anxious ball of stress inside.
Going for job interviews right after dancing, when you spent most of your 20’s and/or 30’s dancing, or “bartending” as your meager resume suggests, is TERRIFYING. So if you’re currently trying to get out of dancing and land a “real job”, I know your pain! Here are some tips: a) “fluff” your resume as much as possible, and really do some thinking about your personal skills and how they could relate to the position you’re trying for. Try to be creative that will show off your personality but also impress your potential boss. b) If your resume is really, really meager, then you need to ace the actual job interview. Make sure you do some research about the company you’re applying to, and come up with questions about specific duties associated with the position you’re applying for. Be as engaged as you can be, but also let a little bit of your personality show through (the good qualities, ladies….) Be honest about what you don’t have experience doing, but show them enthusiasm to learn.
I’ve been at my current place for several years and it is run by the strongest, most capable women I have ever had the pleasure to meet. I have so much respect for them, and spending so much time at a warm and welcoming place has really worn down my “clothing barriers”. I can feel my confidence surging, and my inner weirdo being reflected in my clothing. It’s a good feeling 🙂
The one bit of the dancing lifestyle I have always been a fan of is heels. The heels got incorporated into my “grownup look” pretty quick. The people I work with marvel at my 5″ heels and I just smile to myself. If they only knew that I’m more comfortable in 7″ with a 3″ platform! I love heels (except for kitten), and I think they’re the sexiest thing a woman can wear. I will say though, that this summer has been all about the wedges for me. I’m loving a sturdy white and tan strappy 4″ wedge.
In closing, just know that I’m cheering you on, if you’re struggling to give up on the dancing lifestyle and make it out in the scary real world. It takes a lot of effort, patience, and ingenuity, but you can do it!