I’ve just got back from a brilliant day at Siobhan Davies Dance Studios, organised by my friend Annie the Wolf who’s a dancer and interested in the movements of my tics. I spent this afternoon along with her, Leftwing Idiot and Keir in an amazing rehearsal space. Leftwing Idiot had brought lots of different types of music with him to see how my body and my tics responded and he and Keir filmed what happened so we could build an archive of all the different tic movements.
I haven’t done much dancing before, and I wasn’t consciously dancing today but I enjoyed having the space and time to explore how I move.
I could feel my tics changing in response to different types of music. We tried fast tempo, hyped up music and very mellow tracks. I’m not sure that the frequency of my tics changed but their intensity and expression varied a lot.
Throughout the afternoon I kept dropping suddenly to my knees, a tic that’s been problematic for a while. About three weeks ago it happened at the lair and I dropped onto a nail sticking out of the floorboards. The cut from this had healed and left a small scar but while I was dancing it opened up again and I started bleeding all over the floor. Annie got a bandage and some dressings to stop it and we padded up both my knees just in case. Inspired, I bought some kneepads online this evening because this tic’s becoming more of a problem.
During the afternoon of dance we tried a number of experiments including practising my HRT exercises to music that I know triggers more tics when it’s played full blast. I also danced with Keir and Annie in a variety of ways, including them mirroring my movements. Although I wanted them to do this, when they started I felt quite freaked out. I almost said ‘Stop!’ but I couldn’t work out exactly what made me feel uncomfortable. It was either because it looked a bit like they were taking the Mickey or because it made me worry about what I look like when I tic. Or perhaps because I could see how they had full control over their versions of my movements.
We haven’t got a fixed idea of what we’ll do with the footage from today. It feels like there are loads of possibilities and that the creative potential of tics stretches across many artistic disciplines.